TAG | Indigenous Literacy Project


Over the last few months a number of our dedicated boys have raised over $2,000 for the Indigenous Literacy Project, a national initiative set up by Suzy Wilson from Riverbend Books, Bulimba, and the Fred Hollows Foundation to help address the inequalities in achievement of Aboriginal children.  One of the ways the ILP is doing this is by giving new books, many of which are written in local dialects, to families and schools in remote communities.  There are some children in these communities who have never even held a book. (See  Book donations needed for indigenous literacy.)

The boys on the Closing the Gap committee have been outstanding this year, and they uncomplainingly sold donated books all day on Open Day.  As well as this, they later enlisted the help of other students and staff to bake chocolate brownies, which were then sold to a very appreciative school cohort, with the proceeds going towards improving indigenous literacy.  At the time of the national election, the Student Representative Body ran a mock school election for a packed Forum audience, and the door takings from this were again donated to the Indigenous Literacy Project.

We would like to thank our boys, and especially the members of both committees, for their generosity, selflessness and community spirit, and the money they raised will make a significant contribution towards this project.

Suzy Wilson receiving the cheque from Stuart, and Ted who spoke about the ILP at Assembly.

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Each year thousands of people around Australia very generously give their support to a number of programs aimed at raising the level of literacy in Aboriginal children.


Three of these programs are:

The Indigenous Literacy Project (ILP) is a major supporter of Aboriginal children’s literacy, believing that all Indigenous Australians should enjoy the same education, employment and societal opportunities as other Australians. This project aims to raise literacy levels and improve the lives and opportunities of Indigenous Australians, especially those living in remote and isolated regions, by providing books and literacy resources to these communities and raising broad community awareness of Indigenous literacy issues.

Alarming 2006 statistics from the Department of Education and Training sparked national concern, and showed that in the Northern Territory, “only one in five children living in very remote Indigenous communities could read at the accepted minimum standard. By Year 7, just 15% achieved this benchmark, 47 percentage points behind their urban Indigenous peers and 74 percent less than non-Indigenous students.”  (ILP website)

In order to try to address these problems, the ILP works closely with the Fred Hollows Foundation to provide support in Aboriginal communities, and in 2010 the Foundation and ILP are working to provide books in over 200 remote communities in the Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Western NSW and Western Australia.

Our BGS Libraries, in conjunction with the Senior School Service Committee, are excited to be supporting the 2010 Indigenous Literacy Project this term. In order to raise funds for this project, we are asking the BGS community to donate one of their favourite books (either second-hand or new) to the Senior Library, along with a sentence or two explaining why they enjoyed the book. On Open Day and two weeks later on Indigenous Literacy Day – 1 September – the boys will have the opportunity to purchase the books at considerably reduced prices.  In this way, we hope to promote reading throughout the School and raise money for a worthy cause.



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