First Peoples First Cultural Foundation issued its first official media release today, outlining its purpose and encouraging all Australians to join in saving our precious cultural heritage.
Read the contents of the release below (click on "Read More")
or download the Media Release as a PDF.
For immediate release. 21 September 2016
New foundation to save Australia's cultural heritage
The languages of First Peoples in Australia and around the world are in danger of disappearing within the next generation, according to the newly established First Peoples First Cultural Foundation, which opened its doors officially this month in Adelaide. The Foundation has been set up to help enliven and promote Indigenous languages and cultures to benefit all Australians.
Foundation secretary, Mr Karranjal John Hartley, said First Peoples First was conceived in 2012 to address the erosion of First Peoples languages and cultures. It was formally established and incorporated in September this year.
Mr Hartley said the Foundation was committed to promoting awareness and support for First Peoples' cultures across Australia and aimed to ensure that their ancestral values, beliefs and practices continue for the benefit of all future generations.
“Board members of First Peoples First Cultural Foundation consider language to be the tap root of cultural identity and belonging,” he said.
“The continued disintegration of First Peoples distinct cultural richness and language vibrancy is a loss not only for Australia but, for humanity the world-over. Yet, within a matter of a generation, or just 30 years, remaining First Peoples languages across this continent will, if not urgently addressed, become all but extinct.”
The Foundation has established a cultural scholarship fund to encourage individuals and community groups to develop projects to benefit current and future generations. The not-for-profit fundraising organisation has core values and precepts centred in country, story and people, mutual-exchange, belonging and responsibility.
Mr Hartley said all current and future Australians have a lot to gain from the rich tapestry and diversity of First Peoples cultural life-ways.
“At FPF we feel it is in the national interest for all citizens of Australia to help ensure that the cultural vibrancy and diversity of First Peoples culture is supported and maintained, so that it can continue to enrich both present and coming generations, within our own country and globally,” he said.
The Foundation is encouraging people to support its ongoing work via donation, bequest and through a range of other measures detailed on its website (firstpeoplesfirst.org). The Foundation
will also soon offer an online store offering reproductions of indigenous artwork, along with
clothing and gift items.