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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 13 September 2017) . . Page.. 3604 ..

the city. Libraries ACT has long celebrated and encouraged the preservation of languages and has offered language resources to the community since the 1980s. Each year Libraries ACT celebrates International Mother Language Day, and this year acknowledged the day through a special story time with guest presenter Glenn Freeman from the Koomurri Ngunnawal Aboriginal Corporation. There were displays and encouragement to borrow Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander books. Glenn shared the local story of why the emu cannot fly and taught participating children and their carers Ngunnawal words and the rhyme Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star in Ngunnawal language.

More broadly, and in line with the standards and guidelines from the Australian Library and Information Association and the International Federation of Library Associations, Libraries ACT provides extensive resources for our culturally and linguistically diverse communities. The collections in our library include material in approximately 30 languages from across the globe, in varying quantities, with formats such as bilingual picture books, novels, DVDs, music, newspapers and magazines. In addition, Libraries ACT offers programs throughout the year such as advice for parents about sharing languages with their children and bilingual story times, and participates with a stall at the annual National Multicultural Festival.

A special initiative of the ACT Heritage Library which I would like to highlight in particular is the loaning of recording equipment to community groups and individuals to record oral histories in their mother tongue as well as English. In return, copies of the oral histories are deposited with the ACT Heritage Library. The ACT Heritage Library receives the products of all ACT heritage grants from the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate, including oral history recordings. Many oral history collections refer to the cultural diversity of Canberra, in particular the Italians at the Blue Range hut during World War II and the 1955 project of interviews with representatives of our most populous migrant groups in 1955. What a wonderful resource for our community into the future!

Now that we have a wide range of multicultural communities reflected in our diverse city, it is important that we recognise and share with them the unique nature of their mother tongues and the importance to them of learning and sharing their cultural identity through language.

I proposed a number of amendments to today’s motion. The most significant of those relates to exploring options to support the construction of a monument in Canberra dedicated to the mother languages of Australians. The reason for this amendment is to express the ACT government’s support to explore these options but to understand that it may not be the ACT government solely that has responsibility for completing this endeavour, depending on where the monument might be located. Of course, we may have to work with the National Capital Authority and there may be support for private sector contributions to the development of such a monument, as there has been with other monuments in the past.

In closing, I do hope that Canberrans, no matter what their mother tongue, hear this message too so that the language they speak in their homes, in social settings and in

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