The Department celebrated NAIDOC Week with staff events in Sydney CBD, Hurstville, Parramatta and Maitland.
Executives from the cluster including Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH), Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), Greater Sydney Commission (GSC), Resources and Heritage divisions presented initiatives to promote Aboriginal languages, culture and heritage. Online Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Training was also launched and promoted.
In the late 18th century, there were between 350 and 750 distinct Aboriginal social groupings and a similar number of languages or dialects. Today only around 120 of those languages are still spoken, and all but approximately 20 languages are at risk of being lost as Elders pass on. Only around 10 per cent of these languages are being taught to children and generally only in the remotest parts of Australia.
In the CBD, OEH Chief Executive Anthony Lean provided examples of the dual naming of National Parks, geographical features and Cultural sites to promote Indigenous words and language, cultural burning initiatives and Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Reforms.
The Indigenous Services Branch of the State Library also presented their work on revitalising, preserving and digitising Indigenous languages.
Celebrations included the official handover ceremony of an artwork created by Aboriginal artist, Jordan Ardler, to Alison Barnard Director Employment Policy and Systems on behalf of the Department.
The artwork will be used for Aboriginal branding of Department materials and to better engage with Aboriginal people and communities across NSW.
Artwork by La Perouse-based artist, Jordan Ardler.