International Mother Language Day 2019 | Members Statement

Ms VAGHELA: On 23 February 2019 I had the pleasure of representing the Minister for Multicultural Affairs, the Honourable Richard Wynne, at the International Mother Language Day event hosted by the Victorian Bangladeshi Community Foundation at Encore Events Centre in Werribee. Joining me were councillors and parliamentarians, including Sarah Connolly, the member for Tarneit. According to UNESCO it is a day observed to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by peoples of the world. I must thank the people of Bangladesh for the creation of this day. It is vital to understand the importance of language. Language is not only a way for us to communicate; it is a crucial aspect of our cultural identity. It is critical to promote preservation and protection for all languages, because languages are a gateway to other cultures. We are all lucky to live in such a culturally diverse nation. According to the 2016 census 425 languages are spoken in Australia and over 260 are spoken by Victorians. Western Metropolitan Region is a diversity hub, and I am glad to see that many languages are becoming part of the Victorian School of Languages. I also want to acknowledge and commend the effort of the Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages for preserving precious Aboriginal languages. I urge all Victorians to encourage their children to join a second-language program to ensure that our future leaders are well-versed and understand the multicultural society that we live in. I cherish the close friendship I have with the people of Bangladesh, and I congratulate them on their distinguished work.