In celebration of NAIDOC week, Mr. Smith is donating all proceeds from our Limited Edition Volumising Set to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.
We spoke to the team at ILF to find out more about the foundation, the importance of literacy and how donations impact the lives of children and families in remote Indigenous communities.
What/who is The Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF)?
The Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF) is a national charity of the Australian Book Industry, working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander remote Communities across Australia. We are Community-led, responding to requests from remote Communities for culturally relevant books, including early learning board books, resources, and programs to support Communities to create and publish their stories in languages of their choice.
What different programs do you offer?
ILF’s three programs, Book Supply, Book Buzz and Community Publishing Projects, focus on ensuring access to quality resources, including books in First Languages, publishing Community stories and empowering Communities and families to lead the entire process to ensure leadership, ownership, and authenticity is held with Community Elders and residents.
Book Supply: provides new, culturally relevant books to remote Communities across Australia. Schools, Community, health, and women’s centres working in remote Communities, can order books to distribute to children and families with over 50% by First Nations authors and illustrators.
Book Buzz: aims to develop familiarity and engagement with books for children under five through a daily dedicated Story Time session, so children can develop critical pre-literacy skills. Our team also provides the funding for many remote Communities to translate popular books into First Languages, allowing children to start their literacy journey with books in languages spoken in their homes.
Community Publishing Project (CPP): stories are created by adults and children in a Community and published by our Foundation. The books are then gifted back to the Community to share with children and families. Most CPPs are not for commercial sale. These books are highly desired because they often share a local story that a Community is familiar with and in a language they speak at home.
Why is it important to provide literacy support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities?
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. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities have the wisdom, knowledge and skills, but lack the infrastructure to develop literacy. ILF supports Communities with the tools and resources Communities request to lead their own, authentic literacy journey.
How can the public support ILF?
We receive no Government funding and although this allows us to work dynamically, it does mean we rely solely on the generosity of supporters and sponsors.
People can support ILF by:
- hosting a Great Book Swap at your school or workplace-hosting a Great Book Swap at your school or workplace
- purchasing our commercially available books, book packs and merchandise
- purchasing a Give the Gift of Reading card
The theme for NAIDOC week this year is ‘Get Up! Stand Up! Show up!’. What does this theme mean to you/ILF?
That to make change for true healing it takes more than words. Action is required. The theme this year asks people to learn more about our shared history, for truth telling and actively learn more about Indigenous culture, to speak out on racism and to support Indigenous businesses and causes. As the official NAIDOC website states, “whether it’s seeking proper environmental, cultural and heritage protections, Constitutional change, a comprehensive process of truth-telling, working towards treaties, or calling out racism—we must do it together.”
For ILF we would like people to Stand Up for literacy and First Languages and donate to the ILF so our publishing program can continue to support adults and children in remote Communities to write, publish and preserve their stories and languages for generations to come.
All proceeds from the Mr. Smith Limited Edition pack will be donated to ILF. Can you give us some insight into how this donation will impact the lives of children and families in remote Indigenous communities?
Each donation helps provide culturally relevant books and learning resources to children and families living in remote Communities across Australia. Donations also support the publishing of books written by Communities, for Communities, in languages of their choice. Books written in a First Language assist in maintaining and preserving a language for generations to come.
Style. Substance. Simplicity.