The Indigenous Literacy Project supports a number of literacy related projects and initiatives, the needs for which are identified by community members. The objective of this project is to record the stories of Ringers and other Indigenous station workers from around the Barkly Tablelands from the late 60s and 70s, and to include young people in the process and technologies of recording. The older members of the community fear that the younger are in danger of forgetting the significant contributions made to the development of the Australian cattle industry and their history; these stories will be added to the recorded histories of the Barkly Tablelands.
Some people told stories that placed them within their families, about their bush names and skin names, and who their parents were, others told of their particular skills and talents, or about the station managers.
Deb and Maddy then went on to Tennant Creek, to make contact with Tablelands people and the Cultural Centre, which has built up a photographic library of the area. The Cultural Centre Nyinkka Nyunyu opened in the Barkly region of the Northern Territory in July 2003. They continued to Camooweal and Mount Isa.
The recordings will be transcribed into written form for the community’s reference, and Deb is working on getting the voice and video put together onto DVD’s for the community to keep as a resource. Most participants agreed that their stories should be public, for their children and grandchildren to access.
Deb will go back out to the communities in March when she has transcribed all of the stories into written form, and get final permissions to publish the works and images.