First Languages, Law & Governance Guide

The United Nations named 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages. In recognition of this, the Australian Government’s (then) Department of Communications and the Arts commissioned Terri Janke and Company to prepare the First Languages, Law & Governance Guide.


Indigenous languages are the foundation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and identity. All around Australia, Indigenous communities are working to revitalise and maintain their languages. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups and communities hold significant collections of a variety of language resources and are using digital technology in innovative and culturally sensitive ways to maintain these collections. Communities are also working to create new language resources to teach their languages to their community.


The Guide is written for Indigenous Languages Centres and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people working in the language sector to assist them in managing the legal and governance challenges of working on Indigenous language projects. It’s is intended to provide language workers with an overview of the legal issues they need to consider, and the resources available, to assist them in the development of language projects and to continue learning, teaching and speaking their languages with strength and pride.

© 2020 Terri Janke and Company

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube - White Circle



All professional photography is by Jamie James at James Photographic Services.

The painting  'Ancient Tracks and Waterholes' (2019) by Rene Kulitja has been used under license in the firm photographs on the TJC website homepage, staff profiles, careers and services pages. See Maruku Arts for more work by Rene Kulitja.

The visual artwork ‘Freshwater Lagoon 1’ by Lisa Michl Ko-manggen has been used under license in some photographs and videos. See Cape York Art for more work by Ko-manggen.

The painting ‘My Country’ by Bibi Barba has been used under license in some photographs and Law Way videos. Visit her website to see more.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation

phone: +61 2 9693 2577