Australia: Indigenous Publishing for Bible Engagement


As the main publisher of Indigenous language Bibles, Bible Society Australia (BSA) prints, reprints and distributes Scriptures across Australia, ensuring communities’ access to the Bible. BSA also develops culturally relevant Scripture resources to enable the non-literate, children, youth, prisoners and those in hospital engage with God’s word. In doing so, BSA’s goal is to convey the hope and love found in Jesus, helping Christians mature in their faith and understanding of God.

All Australian Indigenous languages are considered to be at risk (vulnerable or endangered), meaning that safeguarding these languages is crucial for the preservation of cultural heritage, human rights protection, and safeguarding the future.

Although Australia boasts a 99% literacy rate, an estimated 40% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults exhibit minimal English literacy, with numbers rising to 70% in remote areas. Although over half identify as Christians, lack of Bibles in native languages and low literacy rates make understanding translations difficult. Culturally appropriate Scripture resources and Bible study materials are necessary to protect language diversity, strengthen Christian foundations, and aid with literacy development amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations.


  • 54% of people identifying as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander also identified as Christian
  • 45-65% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults are functionally non-literate
  • 1864: Bible Society published the Ngarrindjeri Scriptures
  • 2007: the first full Indigenous Bible was published in Kriol

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