Celebrate the Indigenous Literacy Foundation and Indigenous Literacy Day with the University Library

This year we are showing our support to the foundation by celebrating Indigenous Literacy Day, Wednesday 2 September.

This includes a book display at the Barr Smith Library, purchasing books from the foundation to add to our Yaitya Ngutupira collection, promoting the ILD Virtual Book Reading events, and raising funds for the foundation through our GoFundraise page.

The Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF) is a charity with a vision for equity of opportunity for all Australian children. Being able to read opens so many doors. But in very remote Indigenous communities, books are all too scarce and literacy levels are so much lower than anywhere else in Australia. The ILFs purpose is to make a difference to the lives of Indigenous families by not only gifting thousands of new culturally appropriate books – with a focus on early literacy and first language - but also by running programs to inspire the communities to tell and publish their own stories.

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Read on for more information about our program:

University Library Indigenous Literacy Day book display - Reading opens doors

When: Friday 28 August to Tuesday 8 September 2020
Where: Level 3, Barr Smith Library

This display includes a selection of Indigenous stories and children’s literature books from the University collections, as well as information about the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.

This year we have purchased two more print books from the foundation. The first book, ‘Yakanarra Song Book’, is a collection of 14 beautifully illustrated songs about Yakanarra and the Walmajarri people who live there. Ten of the songs are in Walmajarri and were written in the 1980s and 1990s by Walmajarri teachers. The four English songs and all the illustrations were produced in a workshop with community elders Jessie Wamarla Moora and Mary Purnjurr Vanbee, along with songwriter Chris Aitken and ILF Lifetime Ambassador and former Australian Children’s Laureate Alison Lester. The second book, ‘Deadly sisters of Worawa’, was written by thirteen young women from Worawa Aboriginal College and ILF Lifetime Ambassador Anita Heiss.  

Both books will be added to our Yaitya Ngutupira Indigenous knowledge’s collection.

LIVE Virtual Book Reading events for Indigenous Literacy Day

Celebrate Indigenous Literacy Day with the very first national, virtual Youtube Live Premiere events from the Indigenous Literacy Foundation:

Virtual Book reading Youtube Live Premiere

When: 12:30 pm, Wednesday 2 September 2020
Where: Live on the ILF YouTube channel

ILF Ambassador Jessica Mauboy will sing an Australian favourite, while ILF ambassadors Anita Heiss, Andy Griffiths, Alison Lester, Shelley Ware, Josh Pyke, Gregg Dreiss, Jared Thomas, Natalie Ahmat, co-Patron June Oscar AO, and special guest Uncle Archie Roach will be joined by kids and community members from Jilkminggan and the Tiwi Islands in the Northern Territory to share some delightful stories. This 45 minute YouTube Live Premiere event is looking fabulous and the ILF want to invite you, your families and colleagues to join.


Early Childhood and Primary Event

When: 2:00 pm, Wednesday 2 September 2020
Where: Live on the ILF YouTube channel

Especially for the younger ones - a special 30 minute interactive event has been designed for early learning and primary school students. The ILF warmly invite all children to join the celebration in collaboration with the Digital Creative Learning team at Sydney Opera House.


We have created a GoFundraise page on behalf of the Indigenous Literacy Foundation to collect much needed financial support for their book supply and literacy programs.

Only 36% of Indigenous Year 5 students in very remote areas are at or above national minimum reading standards, compared to 96% for non-Indigenous students in major cities, according to the 2018 National Assessment Program for Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN). Many remote communities don’t have many, if any, books. By supporting the Indigenous Literacy Foundation and its programs, books are reaching remote communities where they are needed most. Just $30 buys three books to go to a child in a remote community. Visit the University Library GoFundraise page to donate today and show your much needed support.

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