Celebrating Indigenous Literacy Day with 300,000 People!

Celebrating Indigenous Literacy Day with 300,000 People!

“What a special day - my heart is so full,” said ILF Publishing Projects Editor, Cindy. 

Indigenous Literacy Day is an annual celebration hosted by the Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF) showcasing First Nations Communities’ incredible stories, cultures and languages.

This year, the ILF shared a 15-FILM featuring stories from remote Communities, and also, for the first time, a 45-minute LIVESTREAM from the Sydney Opera House featuring ILF Ambassadors Justine Clarke, Gregg Dreise, Josh Pyke, students from Barunga Remote Community School, and a special virtual visit from Jessica Mauboy!

The ILF team was aiming for 150,000 viewers this year, something that seemed ambitious for the small team. But to their surprise, over 302,654 people tuned in to watch the ILD celebrations live!

Celebrating the Stories, Cultures and Languages of Barunga, Rubibi and Napranum

The 15-minute FILM celebrated three books published by the ILF in 2023. The FILM took viewers into the heart of these Communities to join their book launches. 

Shordi Krik is a book and song written by students from the Barunga Remote Community School and ILF Ambassador Justine Clarke. This story shares the joy of being at a nearby creek (Shorty Creek) where the children play, swim, sing and speak in their First Language, Kriol.

Barunga School students play at “Shori Krik”

The FILM then took viewers on a virtual plane to the launch of Country Tells Us When… which is a bilingual book from Rubibi (Broome). Country Tells Us When… was created by the Yawuru Community and explores the seasonal changes of the Kimberley. It was written by teachers at Cable Beach Primary School to represent Yawuru language and culture.

Authors and illustrators of Country Tells Us When…

Then, viewers flew all the way across the country to Napranum on the Cape York Peninsula of Queensland. Here, the Community launched their new book We Look, We Find, which is about being on Country with Elders, teaching kids words in Thaynakwith language. 

The Napranum Community reads their new book We Look, We Find

After the FILM, the ILF livestreamed their celebrations at the Sydney Opera House for all of Australia to watch. 

Livestreaming from the Sydney Opera House

The 45-minute LIVESTREAM was hosted by ILF Ambassadors Justine Clarke and Gregg Dreise who reminisced on their PlaySchool days by teaching the audience some dance moves, taught words in Aboriginal languages, and sung songs in English and Kriol.

ILF Publishing Projects Editor Cindy told Justine, Gregg and the audience what Kriol language is and why it is important

Over 50 First Nations Sydney primary school students were in the audience to sing, dance, and learn from the performances. 

Students from the Barunga Remote Community School were also in Sydney for the week, and got up on stage to sing the Enimul Song, a fun and interactive song about different animals found in the Northern Territory in Kriol. 

Sydney school students enjoying ILD!

Josh Pyke then got on stage to sing Words Make the World Go Around as a dedication to all the schools who participated in Busking For Change 2023. He also made the exciting announcement that the Busking For Change 2024 song is Shordi Krik!

Gregg Dreise played the didgeridoo along to the songs. 

Jenaya, a Teacher from Gymea Bay Public School who attended the Sydney Opera House event, says that “Indigenous Literacy Day was an extraordinary experience for our children, one that left a lasting impact on them. From the moment we arrived and witnessed the Aboriginal Flag flying proudly atop the Harbour Bridge, to walking up the Opera House stairs, the excitement was in the air.”

Marketing Coordinator, Ella, couldn’t be happier with how everything went. 

“So many amazing people from the ILF and other organisations teamed up to make this day so deadly. We got to work with Moogie Down Productions and Studio Gilay on the FILM and all the videographers and film teams who captured the stories in Weipa, Barunga and Broome,” says Ella. 

The day was even broadcast on 9 News, 10 News, and National Indigenous Television

Touring Sydney with the Students

The Barunga students spent ILD week in Sydney and got to participate in a bunch of fun activities!

Barunga students with carers at Sydney Aquarium.

They went to laser tag, Taronga Zoo, the Aquarium, the Sydney Tower Eye and even met the Sydney Swans.

The Barunga students met Sydney Swans players and got some merch too!

It was a special week of celebrating First Nations peoples’ stories, cultures and languages. 

You can watch the ILD 2023 FILM and LIVESTREAM anytime here: sydneyoperahouse.com.au

You might also be interested in

Celebrating Languages, Country and Elders this Indigenous Literacy Day

“Mela langguj- Our language, Kriol”

Educators create bilingual book about the seasonal changes of the Kimberley

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Written by Ella Schofield

  • Posted 25 September, 2023

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