The elimination of Aboriginal languages and the legacy of colonisation

‘2019 is the International Year of Indigenous Languages. But the state of Australia’s Indigenous languages is not good. Of the 250 or so languages spoken here when colonisation began, less than half are still spoken. Only 13 could be considered “strong” ― that is, they are still being spoken by children. Throughout history, languages have always risen to prominence or faded away as people groups move and grow. Some might ask, then, why worry about the relative strength or even the passing of Indigenous languages?’