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Indigenous Literacy Day

Celebrating Stories, Cultures and Languages

2022 is the first year of UNESCO’s Decade of Indigenous Languages. Indigenous Literacy Day celebrates and promotes the revitalisation and preservation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages now and for future generations of Indigenous children.

Indigenous Literacy Day is an opportunity to celebrate and promote the revitalisation and preservation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages now and for future generations of Indigenous children.

Since 2011, the Indigenous Literacy Foundation(ILF) has worked with over 400 remote communities, gifted 636,000 books, supplied 83 playgroups with early literacy Book Buzz resources, and published 143 books reflecting 26 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages. 

Literacy provides a fundamental step of building context, comprehension and understanding, whether it is written, visual or auditory. For kids who miss that foundational step in their literacy journey, it has a lifelong impact. 

In remote Communities across Australia there is often no infrastructure such as libraries or bookstores. Access to reading material is extremely limited and this impacts the achievements of Indigenous children.

Through ILF’s three core programs, their dedicated ambassadors, volunteers and staff work together to gift thousands of new culturally relevant books annually, support Communities to create books, many in First Languages, and organise major advocacy and fundraising events, including Indigenous Literacy Day.

Details of the event

Date: Wednesday 7 September 2022

Time: The National Digital Event is available from 10.30 am AEST. We hope you can watch it on the day, but if not, don’t worry, it will stay online and you can watch it anytime.  

Register for the National Digital Event here.
Please note: this takes you to the Sydney Opera House’s booking system. If you experience any difficulties registering for the event, please contact their Creative Learning Team on 02 9250 7770 or email: creativelearning@sydneyoperahouse.com

If you are from a remote Community, please email us at marketing@ilf.org.au for other ways to access the video. 

What will happen in the online event?

A lively group of children in remote Milikapiti and Jilkminggan, in the Northern Territory joyfully share their Stories, Cultures and Languages.  

Excitedly they respond to an unexpected call from ILF Ambassador and music icon, Jessica Mauboy, and proudly teach her a well-loved song in Tiwi and Mangarrayi, before ILF Ambassador, author and performer, Gregg Dreise sings the song in Gamilaraay Yuwaalaraay. Audiences will be encouraged to stretch and bend and sing in three different languages, from three different places!  

Of course, all this hard work builds an appetite and the children head off to hunt for a feed in the nearby waters before a well-earned fire-side feast. 

Audiences of all ages will delight in this magical story led by children, sharing a snippet of life in remote Australia and the richness and diversity of First Nation peoples’ cultures, languages and stories.  

How long is it? Approximately 20 minutes long. 

What does it cost? Nothing, it is free for everyone to enjoy. Of course, donations to the ILF are warmly received.

When can I register? Registrations are now open on the Sydney Opera House website. Once you register, you will get a reminder the day before the event. See the link above. 

What age group is it suitable for? It’s PG – suitable for all ages! 

What’s the theme?  A celebration of the diversity of First Nations Peoples’ Stories, Cultures and Languages. 

Is there a teacher’s resource?
 Yes, on the registration page there is a link to Teacher’s Resource.

More ways to celebrate Indigenous Literacy Day

If you are a teacher, educator, school, bookseller, publisher, library, business, organisation or individual, you can also contribute and celebrate Indigenous Literacy Day every year by:

  • Reading an Indigenous story book to your children each day of the ILD week, just a few of our favourite titles are:
Can You Dance?
No Way Yirrikipayi!
Moli det bigibigi (Molly the pig) Written in Kriol & English
  • Host your own Indigenous Literacy Day event, invite families, Elders and community members in to have children read a favourite First Nations story to them.
  • Older children can write a book report on their favourite First Nations book.
  • Invite an Elder in to share stories or to read a story in their language.
  • Link up with a remote community school/class/early learning centre for a story swap.
  • Read the English version of ‘There’s a Crocodile on the Golf Course’ then listen along to Dangaba Dingarrbiya golf course-manja, the same story in Anindilyakwa (Groote Eylandt, NT). There’s a Crocodile on the Golf Course is a delightfully illustrated tale which explores golf, friendships… and cranky crocodiles! Author and illustrator Rachel Barnett takes us around the course with Croco as he plays a round of golf on Anindilyakwa Country, a remote island in the Gulf of Carpentaria, NT.

We acknowledge and pay our respects to the people of the Bundjalung Nation, the Traditional Custodians of the beautiful land and waterways on which we live and work.

Always was. Always will be Aboriginal land.