On Wednesday 2 September, the Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF) along with Ambassador Jessica Mauboy and long-time supporter Archie Roach invite all Australians to join their national, virtual Indigenous Literacy Day (ILD) celebrations.
This 45-minute celebratory event will go live on YouTube at 12.30pm. The production is designed to be a highly visual event and inspire broader Australia about the value of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s first languages and why learning in language is important.
Kids and community members from Tiwi Islands and Jilkminggan in the Northern Territory and Bidyadanga in Western Australia share their stories and the value of language, and Cheryl Lardy reads Yu sabi densdensbad? (Can You Dance?) in Kriol.
ILF Ambassadors including Andy Griffiths, Shelley Ware, Alison Lester, Josh Pyke, Natalie Ahmat, Jared Thomas and Anita Heiss, co-patron June Oscar AO and long-time ILF supporter, Archie Roach, will also share their insights and stories of community engagement. And Jessica Mauboy will sing a stunning rendition of an 80s Australian favourite.
“At ILF we understand that early literacy is the cornerstone of success in education,” says Karen Williams, Executive Director of ILF.
“We understand that encouraging early literacy requires children and their parents to have access to books and that children need to see themselves in the stories they read. They need to see that their culture is cherished and their stories are celebrated by all Australians. We welcome everyone to join us for what we believe is an incredibly positive story, and one that all Australians should be part of.”
In previous years, this celebration has taken place at the Sydney Opera House with children from remote communities, local schools and ILF ambassadors and supporters. This year, due to COVID-19, it is open, for the first time, to everyone – Australia-wide.
The ILF in collaboration with the Sydney Opera House is also launching an Indigenous Literacy Day celebration designed for primary and early learners – children three to eleven years of age. This is a separate event, launching at 2pm on the Sydney Opera House YouTube channel.
The Foundation’s Indigenous Literacy Day YouTube events provide an opportunity to share and enlighten others of how positive, community-led engagement makes a difference.
The ILF is a charity of the book industry and focuses on three programs for remote children and their families: Book Buzz supports early literacy; Book Supply provides culturally relevant books and books translated in language; and Community Literacy Projects engages communities to write and illustrate their own books in their first language. Donations to the Foundation fund these programs to communities that need them most.
The video will remain viewable on Youtube after the event.
The Foundation is encouraging everyone to donate to the Foundation. Every $10 puts a book into the hands of a child in remote Australia. To donate go to ild.org.au