Celebrating Indigenous Literacy Day

Reconciliation Australia was pleased to support the Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF) as they launched Indigenous Literacy Day at Parliament House in Canberra today.

The ILF aims to improve literacy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children—particularly those who live in remote or isolated communities.

In bigger towns and cities, schools rely on parents, communities and local businesses to raise money to purchase books—however in remote areas there’s sometimes little opportunity for fundraising. This is where the ILF comes in. Over the past two years the foundation has worked with many partners to send over 60,000 books to more than 200 remote communities.

The latest project Book Buzz is focused on early literacy—recording Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stories and translating books into local languages.

Many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children grow up in a rich culture surrounded by many different languages, including English.  Incorporating local languages into reading programs is a great way for all children to learn and to actively participate in reconciliation.

What’s also important is increasing the confidence of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children through reading and writing and enabling them the skills they need to pursue other educational opportunities.

Speaking at the launch in Canberra day, Governor-General Quentin Bryce spoke of the importance in continuing to support children living in remote areas—whether it’s through donating books or funds we all have our part to play.

To support the Indigenous Literacy Foundation or learn more about events happening this week visit:  http://www.indigenousliteracyfoundation.org.au/

Paul House with gum leaves and smoke
Paul Girrawah House

Paul Girrawah House has multiple First Nation ancestries from the South-East Canberra region, including the Ngambri-Ngurmal (Walgalu), Pajong (Gundungurra), Wallabollooa (Ngunnawal) and Erambie/Brungle (Wiradyuri) family groups.

Paul acknowledges his diverse First Nation history, he particularly identifies as a descendant of Onyong aka Jindoomang from Weereewaa (Lake George) and Henry ‘Black Harry’ Williams from Namadgi who were both multilingual, essentially Walgalu-Ngunnawal-Wiradjuri speaking warriors and Ngunnawal–Wallaballooa man William Lane aka ‘Billy the Bull’ - Murrjinille.

Paul was born at the old Canberra hospital in the centre of his ancestral country and strongly acknowledges his First Nation matriarch ancestors, in particular his mother Dr Aunty Matilda House-Williams and grandmother, Ms Pearl Simpson-Wedge.

Paul completed a Bachelor of Community Management from Macquarie University, and Graduate Certificate in Wiradjuri Language, Culture and Heritage and Management from CSU.

Paul provided the Welcome to Country for the 47th Opening of Federal Parliament in 2022. Paul is Board Director, Ngambri Local Aboriginal Land Council, Member Indigenous Reference Group, National Museum of Australia and Australian Government Voice Referendum Engagement Group.  

Paul works on country with the ANU, First Nations Portfolio as a Senior Community Engagement Officer

Acknowledgement of Country

Reconciliation Australia acknowledges Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing  connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; and to Elders past and present. 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this website contains images or names of people who have passed away.

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