Monday, 22 February 2021
Statements by Members
International Mother Language Day
Yesterday marked International Mother Language Day, a day to celebrate linguistic diversity around the world and to celebrate how it enriches our multicultural society here in Australia.
In recognising the valuable contribution that a wide range of languages makes to my local community from around the world, I also want to note that intrinsic link between first language and identity. I want to note and call out the abhorrent practice of oppressing native languages in our own history and in other nations' histories. In doing so I want to acknowledge the range of languages spoken by local First Nations people and how they enrich Australia, including the local languages: the Wathaurong, the Woiwurrung and the Boonwurrung—languages spoken by the traditional owners of the land which I represent in this parliament.
Unfortunately, our annual celebration, planned for yesterday, has been postponed due to the Melbourne lockdowns. But I have been assured by our local event organisers, the Victorian Bangladeshi Community Foundation, and my friends Nurul Khan and Nusrat Borsha, that it will take place in March. I look forward to joining them and our wonderful, vibrant Victorian Bangladeshi community in Melbourne's west. I also want to acknowledge their Shaheed Day, a day to remember those who fought for Bengali culture and language. I look forward to celebrating with them all next month.