NAIDOC Week – Relaunch of unique website

The Aboriginal Bibles website (aboriginalbibles.org.au) has been given a facelift.

It now features 35 Aboriginal languages, with another 15 still to come. Each language has its own page and location marker on a map of Australia. When you click on the language you are interested in, you will find a short paragraph about the people group, and links to audio, video and pdf files of Bible material in that language. These can be accessed via different channels and devices as per links on the page.

This website is a joint project involving Bible Society Australia, Australian Society for Indigenous Languages (AuSIL) and Wycliffe Bible Translators with several other essential partners.

aboriginalbibles.org.au reminds us of the significant loss of language Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have experienced.

On its landing page, we read: Prior to the arrival of European settlement, it is estimated that around 400 indigenous languages were spoken in Australia.

Unfortunately, since that time Australia has suffered the highest rate of language extinction in the world and currently only about 10% of these languages are still being used in daily life.

The purpose of this website is to provide Biblical material and other Christian resources to encourage Indigenous and non-indigenous people alike to actively work to keep these Indigenous languages alive.

Those who have had any encounter with language revival and translation work will know that it is extremely time-consuming. There is only one complete Bible translated into an Aboriginal language – the Kriol Bible. 13 other language groups have a complete New Testament. You will find other such statistics at aboriginalbibles.org.au.

Bible Society, AuSIL and Wycliffe are delighted to relaunch aboriginalbibles.org.au in this special NAIDOC week.

Louise Sherman, BSA’s Remote & Indigenous Ministry Support (RIMS) Production Coordinator says it was a team effort to create and undertake this ongoing work.

The website’s focus is on Biblical texts as it seeks to bring visibility to all 50 languages which have some Bible translation work completed. Once they have all been uploaded, other Christian texts will also be featured.

Ms Sherman encourages all interested in the content available through aboriginalbibles.org.au to keep returning as other Christian material will be uploaded over the coming months.

For further information contact David Blackman, AuSIL Head of Indigenous Scripture Production, on 08 8953 3057