More children in the Cootamundra electorate will have the opportunity to learn an Aboriginal language at preschool, with the NSW Government announcing Ninganah No More.

The new program will increase the level of Aboriginal languages taught in early childhood services across NSW.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said it will be a fantastic way for Aboriginal culture and identity to be developed and nurtured in the earliest stage of formal education.

“Ninganah No More will be beneficial to both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children,” Ms Cooke said.

“Research shows that learning a second language has long-term developmental benefits and this will be hugely valuable to our electorate in the future.”

Minister for Early Childhood Education and Aboriginal Affairs Sarah Mitchell said she is proud the NSW Government is continuing to put Aboriginal Culture and Heritage front and centre.

“In 2017, NSW made history as the first state in Australia to pass legislation acknowledging the value and importance of language to Aboriginal people,” she said.

“Ninganah means to be quiet, and the goal of Ninganah No More is to help ensure Aboriginal languages are no longer unheard voices in our community. I am excited to see the success of the program once it’s rolled out.”

Applications are open now until May 11, 2018. Applications will be assessed in May with successful applicants notified in June.

For more information on Ninganah No More, contact the Aboriginal Services team at the Department of Education on 9266 8215 or AboriginalprogramsECED@det.nsw.edu.au