New radio series spells out literacy success

Thursday, 22 July 2004

With an estimated 46% of Australians not having the necessary literacy skills to cope with the demands of modern society, a new Radio Adelaide series being launched today explores just what it means to be "literate".

Well-known futurist, and writer and presenter of the Curiosity Show, Deane Hutton will launch Well...I never knew that!

"Did you know," Dr Hutton says, "that the air we breathe joins all living things on Earth? Not only right now, but the past and future as well. In fact, the next breath you take will contain atoms breathed out by Julius Caesar, William Shakespeare, Albert Einstein, and a dinosaur which lived 70 million years ago! And appreciating why is part of scientific literacy."

Series producer Angelina Edwards interviewed dozens of people aged from 20 to 80 years old, and says she was amazed at just how many different types of literacies she encountered.

"We commonly think of reading, writing and numeracy as the main issues, but there are IT and computing, health and cultural literacies as well," Ms Edwards says. "I didn't realise that, in addition to all of these different literacies, there would be so many inspirational stories from people who've overcome these barriers in their lives."

Well...I never knew that! will be broadcast at 7.30am weekdays from Monday August 2 to Friday August 27. The series will culminate in a one-hour forum about current literacy issues and strategies, called Survival Skills for the 21st Century, on Sunday August 29 at 10am.

This leads into the Australian Great Literacy Debate, part of National Adult Literacy Week (September 1-8) in the United Nations Decade of Literacy. Well...I never knew that! is funded under the ANTA Adult Literacy National Project by the Commonwealth through the Department of Education, Science and Training.

The 20 short programs, plus the one-hour forum, will also be available as a three-CD set. For details, visit the website:

Find Radio Adelaide at 101.5FM, or listen online at
Radio Adelaide is part of the University of Adelaide.


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Mr David Ellis
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External Relations
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