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Twitter takeover to showcase First Nations languages


12 September 2020 at 9:00 am
Luke Michael
According to the UN, four in 10 Indigenous languages are at risk of disappearing


Luke Michael | 12 September 2020 at 9:00 am


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Twitter takeover to showcase First Nations languages
12 September 2020 at 9:00 am

According to the UN, four in 10 Indigenous languages are at risk of disappearing

Twitter is partnering with the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation (ALNF) to celebrate First Nations languages by sharing voice tweets on the popular social media platform.

On 13 September – the 13th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – Twitter Australia is dedicating the day to raising awareness that Indigenous languages are at risk of vanishing.

Twitter will share voice Tweets throughout the day from notable Indigenous people and ALNF community members in their own First Nations language to educate users around language preservation.

Key people taking part include Aboriginal electronic music duo Electric Fields and Indigenous keynote speaker Jeremy Donavan.

It comes as the UN estimates that four in 10 Indigenous languages are at risk of disappearing. 

Kara Hinesley, director of public policy at Twitter Australia and NZ, noted that 81,100 people in Australia identified as the speaker of an Indigenous language, while 276,300 people identified this language as part of their heritage.

“In a global first, during the @TwitterAU takeover, people around the world can listen to a variety of languages including Adnyamathanha, Erub Mer, Bunuba, Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara through exclusive voice tweets,” Hinesley said. 

“Together with the ALNF, Twitter is proud to utilise our platform to raise awareness of Indigenous languages and make them more accessible in the public conversation.”

Tom Calma, co-Chair at ALNF, said as a human rights advocate and Indigenous Elder, he had been campaigning for a large part of his life to preserve these languages and cultures. 

“Through sitting on the board at ALNF, I’ve been involved in some fantastic partnerships and this latest initiative with Twitter will help highlight Indigenous languages and cultures across Australia to new audiences,” Calma said. 

“The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples day provides a chance to reflect and I hope this partnership helps more Australians learn about the importance of preserving First Nations languages.” 


Luke Michael  |  Journalist  |  @luke_michael96

Luke Michael is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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