You are here

History and founders

RNLD's founders and history

Resource Network for Linguistic Diversity Inc. (RNLD) was co-founded in 2004 by Margaret Florey and Nick Thieberger with an original mission to advance the sustainability of Indigenous languages and to increase the participation of Indigenous peoples in all aspects of language documentation and revitalisation through training, resource sharing, networking, and advocacy. Through its first five years, RNLD was an unfunded, volunteer organisation that mainly served as an online hub for coordinating and sharing expertise, methods and resources between people who are working to support Indigenous languages.

In 2009, Margaret Florey was awarded funding to build the organisation and develop RNLD's training activities across Australia. RNLD has been continuously funded since that year by the Australian Federal Government under a grant scheme that was first known as the Maintenance of Indigenous Languages and Records (MILR) program, then the Indigenous Languages Support (ILS) Scheme, and subsequently the Indigenous Languages and Arts (ILA) Program.

The award of funding marked a critical turning point in the development of RNLD and its programs. The organisation entered a new phase which has seen it become a key national organisation delivering grassroots training to Indigenous people across Australia. The several strands of the Documenting and Revitalising Indigenous Languages Training Program (DRIL) program are now the cornerstone of the RNLD's work. At its inception, the primary aim of the DRIL training program was to create a transformative social impact through building a greater sense of agency so that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people could develop, run and control their own language projects themselves. The positive impact of our programs is widely felt on language revitalisation activities being undertaken by Aboriginal people across the country.