Australian Indigenous Languages

Australian Indigenous Languages

If you have an interest in issues of relevance to indigenous Australians, adding Indigenous languages to your knowledge in this area will be a very rewarding learning experience. The Australian Indigenous Languages program provides an opportunity for you to explore a language native to Australia, and through this to gain a better understanding of the speakers, their societies, cultures and knowledge systems.

Australia has more than 300 Indigenous languages, both traditional and new. Each reflects the interests, societies, culture and knowledge systems of its speakers. By studying Indigenous languages, you will discover new ways of looking at the world, of communicating, and of thinking. You will come to understand the place of Indigenous languages in society generally, and relationships between language, culture and society in the communities of speakers.

You can study two courses in Australian Indigenous languages as electives, or as part of a Linguistics major, or as part of an Indigenous Studies major.The languages available at ANU will depend on resources and expertise available at the time.

You are encouraged to explore cross-institutional options for studying Indigenous languages. Visit to find out what courses on Indigenous languages are offered in which universities during which semesters. Once you have decided on a course, consult the convenor of Indigenous languages for help with cross-institutional enrolment.

Upcoming Australian Indigenous Languages Classes

Australian Indigenous Languages Classes in 2019

2019 is International Year of Indigenous Languages. To celebrate this, we will be offering courses in two Indigenous languages: Gamilaraay, a language of NSW which is being revived, and Bininj Kunwok, the general name for language varieties spoken as everyday languages in Western Arnhem Land.

Summer school

  • Introduction to Gamilaraay: enrol in AUST1001 or INDG2003, or INDG6003 : Intensive course in Sydney on the Charles Darwin Sydney Campus from 14 - 25 January 2019. This is part of a Summer School hosted by CDU Class will be from 9am-1pm each day, with afternoon activities. ANU Students traveling to Sydney to undertake this course will need to obtain ANU Travel Approval. ANU Students should email SLLL Administration for more information.

*Cross-institutional enrolments are restricted, and usually close in early December - see


Semester 1

  • Gamilaraay: Introduction to Gamilaraay: enrol in AUST1001 or INDG2003, or INDG6003 . This course is being offered either face-to-face (recommended) or online.
  • Bininj Kunwok: Introduction to Bininj Kunwok: enrol in INDG2005, or INDG6005 with special topic Bininj Kunwok. This course is only offered online
  • Gamilaraay: Advanced Gamilaraay: enrol in LING3025 or LING6025, Special topic: Advanced Gamilaraay. This is only available to students who have completed Continuing Gamilaraay classes. You'll need convenor permission:


Winter School

  • Gamilaraay: Continuing Gamilaraay: enrol in INDG2004, or INDG6004: Intensive course from 9-20 July 2018, 9am - 1pm. Probably held at ANU.

You can also study Australian Indigenous Languages within other degrees. For details check Programs and Courses.


Updated:  5 November 2018/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications