In previous years, to celebrate Indigenous Literacy Day (ILD), the Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF) has held events at Sydney Opera House and Federation Square with children flying in from a range of remote communities, and involving local schools, ILF ambassadors and supporters.
This year, due to mobility and travel restrictions as a result of COVID-19, ILF had the opportunity to do things differently and in doing so extend the invitation to participate to all Australians.
We are incredibly grateful for the significant contribution made by Viva Energy Australia, who proudly sponsored Indigenous Literacy Day for 2020, and helped us to celebrate language and literacy in a new, inclusive and accessible way.
Viva Energy Australia is a national energy company who have sponsored our ILD events for the past three years, and displayed a great passion and commitment to celebrating Indigenous culture and diversity.
We recently sat down with Vince Neville, Chair of Viva Energy’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) Working Group, to chat about why our organisation resonates with Viva Energy, and why they continue to find value in sponsoring Indigenous Literacy Day.
“Our support for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation aligns with our RAP and our objectives as an organisation to celebrate and respect Indigenous cultures, build cultural awareness and more broadly, support movement towards Reconciliation,” says Vince, “We also know that education is an absolutely fundamental building block in future success. The work that ILF does – combining learning, education, culture, and wonderfully, keeping languages that are tens of thousands of years old alive, is unique. It’s an organisation that we’re proud to support.”
Our Indigenous Literacy Day event this year was delivered in a vastly different format to previous years, and we were excited to be able to have an opportunity to share the virtual event with people across the country.
For Viva Energy, sponsorship of ILD not only allowed them to get involved in a great cause, but also presented an opportunity to engage their staff more fully in one of their community sponsorships.
“In previous years, having kids from remote communities down in the Big Smoke, and seeing them engaging with people about culture and language is absolutely sensational and it’s great to be a part of that.” says Vince, “But to be involved and support ILF to bring a virtual event to life was also just as fantastic. It allows such an opportunity for our staff, and people more broadly to get involved. It allows people to go back and have a look if they missed it, and builds a library of things people can be curious about.”
This year’s event focused on the value of learning in first languages, and featured a book reading in Kriol and English by Cheryl Lardy and Justine Clarke, a performance of ‘My Island Home’ by pop star Jessica Mauboy, stories from ILF ambassadors, and messages from kids and community members in Jilkminggan and the Tiwi Islands in the Northern Territory and Bidyadanga in Western Australia.
“The production was very good, and the variety of speakers and performers was fantastic,” said Vince, “The message was clear, and the event brought together may different parts with one main focus very well. The events we’ve had in Sydney and Melbourne – to have the kids there is great, and the events are always fantastic, but having it online provides the opportunity to engage people from all over and build on awareness. It provides a platform for people to make enquiries and learn more about these important issues. It is something that is really quite special.”
A fantastic thank you to Viva Energy Australia for believing in our vision of equity of opportunity, and helping to bring this special event to life.
If you missed our Indigenous Literacy Day event, it is still available to watch on YouTube here. Viewers are encouraged to donate what they can on the day of viewing. Funds go towards the purchase of books and learning resources for children in remote communities.
- Posted 16 September, 2020