Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has been praised by Aboriginal people and leaders for speaking in an Indigenous dialect while addressing the Garma Festival.
"In a language so ancient on earth. Particularly in this country of ours. It must have been really daunting for him. His pronunciations were excellent," a woman from the audience told the program.
Reconciliation Australia director Djapirri Mununggirritj told ABC's Q&A from the Northern Territory it was important for leaders to have an understanding of the nation's native language.
"I was pretty amazed with how the Yolngu words were spoken by the prime minister," she said.
"It gave an understanding to the Yolngu in such a way that it actually, in amongst the audience, they would say, 'I wish I knew how to speak Yolngu Matha."
Prominent Aboriginal Australian Noel Pearson said Australia has never recognised the existence of Indigenous languages.
"We must first formally recognise the existence of these languages and provide support for their preservation and continuation and survival," he told Q&A.
Many of these languages in Australia are extremely precarious and will be lost to the planet. If we don't provide for their safety and growth and continuity."