Over the past year, Shaun Vukic from Indulkana Youth Shed in the APY Lands has noticed an increased enthusiasm for books and reading since receiving books from our Book Supply program.
At Indulkana Community in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands in South Australia, about 100 km south of the NT border, a big old shed has been refitted out to become an extremely well used youth shed, where books from our Book Supply program are openly available for reading.
“There is nowhere else for them to source books apart from at school,” explains Program Coordinator Shaun Vukic.
On average, 60 to 80 children and young adults use the club each day. About 50% of these are in the 11- to 15-year-old age group, and about 25% are 18 and over. In peak times, such as school holidays, up to 100 might turn up on any given day.
The shed has always had a shelf for books, but previously they were used ones from second-hand shops, with an excess of “old textbooks and romance novels gathering dust”. Since 2016, however, the bookshelves in the small computer and reading room have been full of brand new, culturally appropriate books donated by our Foundation. There’s always a queue for the computers so Shaun simply suggests, “Grab a book while you’re waiting.”
“Getting the books from ILF has been great,” says Shaun. “The kids love it, especially having books they want to read.”
Over the past year, Shaun has noticed an increased enthusiasm for books and reading. “Kids often pull me up, point to a page and say, ‘Look at this, look at this!’ or ask, ‘What’s this?’”
Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara are spoken in Indulkana, English being a second or third language, mostly only spoken at school.
“Having books available at the youth shed has allowed young people to access reading material at their leisure after school and during school holiday periods. It’s really good for them to be able to continue reading in these times.”