The Indigenous Literacy Foundation

Since 2015, we have been an outlet for The Indigenous Literacy Foundation, showcasing and selling the stories they work with communities across the tropical north to create. 
We asked the team at ILF to share their story from our time working together, "Starwin has been a generous supporter of ILF, with the promotion and sale of ILF published books; helping to get First Nation peoples' stories into more homes across Australia."
Discover more of the story here...
How would you describe ways that you give back / pay it forward in our community? 

Reading opens doors to future opportunities and choices. 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. 

ILF gifts culturally relevant books, books in First Languages and learning resources to children and families living in remote Communities across Australia, via three programs, Book Supply, Book Buzz and Community Publishing Projects. 

The ILF’s Community Publishing Projects (CPP) support Communities to write and illustrate their own stories in languages of their choice. To date, ILF has published 183 books reflecting up to 26 Indigenous languages: from Walmajarri in the Kimberley region to Arabana in South Australia, Kriol in the Katherine region, and Tiwi in the Tiwi Islands.

Marshia Cook, author of the recently published bilingual book, Jarrampa, shares why local stories are important.  “I wrote this book to encourage kids to read more books and to sit with the Elders… while they’re around. To know who they are, where they come from, to know the language and to speak it.” 

It is important that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children can see themselves, their culture and languages reflected in the books they read. Having books that share local stories in First Languages, preserves and maintains Indigenous languages and culture, as well as builds pride, identity and strengthens a sense of belonging, confidence and wellbeing.

The Community Publishing Projects program is growing. As remote communities learn more about the opportunity to share their stories in books in First Languages, the Publishing team is working hard to meet requests. But it is not just ILF amplifying the value of books in First Languages. UNESCO has declared 2022-2032, the International Decade of Indigenous Languages to draw attention to the critical status of many Indigenous languages and encourage action for their preservation, revitalisation and promotion.

What is your one-of-a-kindness story?

We have many heartfelt stories but one that jumps out is the story of a young boy, MyKyus Levi.  McKyus lives in the St Paul’s community on Moa Island in the Torres Straits. He has been diagnosed with autism and has difficulty with communication, reading and writing. But he is amazing at drawing and has a brilliant imagination.This year, the ILF published his book, The Monsters of McKyus.  Some monsters are scary, some are cute, and some… well, you’ll have to read the book to find out.

Do ILF published books share stories about caring for country?

ILF published books share wonderful stories of life and culture in remote Australia, all written and illustrated by adults and children living in remote Communities. ILF's commercial range features books written in English, or English and a Indigenous First Language. Some stories such as Wamparla Apira and Purlka ngamaji Kakaji (Big Fat Mummy Goanna) share messages of how to sustain a food source while others provide insights into life in remote Community,  like hunting for Cherabin (Jarrampa), rescuing a little pig from the bush (Moli det bigibigior comparing how life is lived now in Aboriginal Communities to how it was lived in the olden days (Tudei en longtaim)

Linked In: ILF
Twitter: Indigenous ILF
*Photo by Wayne Quilliam
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