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Indigenous Literacy Day celebrates with the Great Book Swap for children in remote communities

The children from Tjuntjuntjara vist Sydney Source: ILD website

Events and fundraisers held across the country celebrate Indigenous Literacy Day (ILD).

Indigenous Literacy Day (ILD) was held on Tuesday the 7th of September, featuring a celebration at the Sydney Opera House.

ILD's aim to let people know about work being done to improve literacy levels and opportunities for Indigenous children living in some of the most remote and isolated parts of Australia. Funds raised on Indigenous Literacy Day buy books and resources for these communities.

Sharing and swapping books for children in communities can be limited leaving children behind in literacy and their development.

The Indigenous Literary Foundation is a not for profit charity that has delivered over 150,000 free and culturally appropriate books to more than 250 remote Indigenous communities and service organisations across Australia. Their Community Literacy Projects focus on publishing books that are written or developed by community members.

The Indigenous Literacy Foundation says many of the books written by children recognise the importance of community stories and have positive literacy outcomes

Among the celebrations at Sydney Opera House, children from one of the remotest communities in Australia launched their book "The Goanna Was Hungry" and other stories by children from the Spinifex Writing Camp with Ann James & Sally Morgan.  The Goanna was Hungry.

In its five years as a foundation, the ILF has published and funded over 44 community literacy projects.

The Goanna was Hungry the latest book to be released through the Community Literacy Project, which is part of the work the Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF) does in remote communities around Australia. The book is written and illustrated by children from Tjuntjuntjara, Mt Margaret and Menzies remote communities who attended a five-day writing camp on Spinifex Country with two of Australia’s best-loved authors/illustrators, Ann James and Sally Morgan.

Attending the celebrations at the Opera House were ILF ambassadors, supporting schools and students, and community members as well as the children from Tjuntjuntjar. 

A new song, Words Make the World Go Round, written by Josh Pyke, Deborah Cheetham, and Justine Clarke, was also released for ILD.

A short clip from our ILD Ambassador Andy Griffiths talking about the 2014 ILD day at the Sydney Opera House with Alison Lester, MC Natalie Ahmat and 400 school children. 

What happens on Indigenous Literacy Day?

  • Publishers make donations and help promote the year-round work of our Foundation.
  • Booksellers hold readings, book launches and/or other literary events. Some donate part of their day's earnings, and customers make donations in the designated boxes on their counters
  • Schools across Australia hold the Great Book Swap fundraiser, readathons and other fundraising or classroom activities
  • Businesses, clubs and organisations might also host a Great Book Swap or another fundraiser
  • Libraries hold book themed events, and collect donations

Program Manager of Indigenous Literacy Day Tina Raye spoke with Kirstyn Lindsay about the event.

The Goanna was Hungry is available to order from: www.ilf.org.au

 

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