Victorian Koorie Languages in Schools Program

The Victorian Koorie Languages Schools Program and pilot trial has developed from the strong and long-term desire of Koorie families and communities for language and cultural learning in education


There are now over 1000 Victorian students learning a Victorian Aboriginal language at school. Eleven schools across the state are delivering a Victorian Koorie Language Program, involving seven Victorian Languages and one Northern Territory Language. 

The program is founded on a strong partnership formed by the Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Inc. (VAEAI), the Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages (VACL), the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) and the Department of Education and Training (DET) to support their introduction.

What made this pilot program unique and successful, is the collaborative effort behind them and the protocols in place to support them. For example, all Victorian Aboriginal language programs in schools must have school council, Traditional Owner and Koorie Community support through their Local Aboriginal Education Consultative Group (LAECG) before commencing. VAEAI can assist in this negotiation process where needed.

Classes are for all students in the target levels – Koorie and non-Koorie; and all schools in the trial are teaching the traditional Aboriginal languages of the peoples whose land the school is situated on.

A dedicated website has been established  to further support schools, and the introduction of Koorie languages in schools through Web 2.0 technology. The VCAA Aboriginal Languages Victoria website includes a a start-up guide for both schools and Koorie community, and online language resources and sample units for teaching.

Since term 1 2017, all Victorian government schools have been teaching to the new Victorian Curriculum.  As a result, the Victorian Curriculum - Victorian Aboriginal Languages has been developed by the VCAA in partnership with VAEAI and VACL, and is available online. 

Follow these links to learn more about the Victorian Koorie Languages Schools Pilot Program and other school-based language programs and initiatives.

NAIDOC Bark Art created by Thornbury Primary School students