Indigenous Literacy Day (ILD) is a celebration of First Nations People’s Stories, Cultures and Languages. The day was initiated in 2011 by the Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF) as its key advocacy event to platform the many positive literacy achievements in remote Indigenous Communities across Australia.
In response to the pandemic, the event pivoted from a Sydney Live Event to a National Digital Event. For the first time, the 2022 celebration will be both digital and live and this means the charity needs more support from large, generous organisations who share ILF’s vision and values and who are able to amplify the message.
Lendlease shares ILF’s vision that reading opens doors to opportunities and choices. One of the focus areas within Lendlease's Elevate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) is to create ways to increase public awareness and contribute to the building of a shared national identity that recognises and embraces Australia’s First Nations wisdom, languages and cultures. This year as part of their support, Lendlease are reaching out to their vast networks, to support us in our aspiration to reach over 200,000 school children and an additional participation of 100,000 people in our National Digital Event.
“Indigenous Literacy Day shares a very positive and joyful message about the multi-literacy and multilingual talents of First Nations peoples,” says Brendan Dwyer, National Operations Manager at Lendlease. ”We see ILD as a wonderful event to shine a light on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in remote Australia, who are writing and illustrating stories and learning to read, and in many cases sing, in First Languages. With these languages being an important part of our shared national identity and something for all Australians to celebrate and embrace.".
UNESCO has declared 2022-2032 as the Decade of Indigenous Languages. The value of revitalising, preserving and promoting First Languages is well documented. Language is culture and acknowledging language in books builds Indigenous children’s sense of belonging, identity and pride.
The 2022 ILD events focus on promoting the richness and diversity of Stories, Cultures and Languages. The National Digital Event illustrates this beautifully with children from two remote Communities and Ambassadors Gregg Dreise and Jessica Mauboy joyfully singing a popular song in three different languages from three different places.
Lendlease's Elevate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) outlines our commitment to First Nations peoples, acknowledging their unbroken connection to Country,” says Melissa Haigh, Head of Indigenous Affairs at Lendlease. “One of our key focus areas is to invest in partnerships and programs that celebrate First Nations languages and cultures. Supporting ILD is perfectly aligned.”
ILF CEO, Ben Bowen is excited about the relationship. “Lendlease’s support of ILD will have an enormous social impact that we alone can’t possibly achieve. That is the super power of corporate sponsorship. The more people that embrace and celebrate ILD, the greater awareness, understanding and acknowledgment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s Stories, Cultures and Languages.”
Everyone is welcome to watch the National Digital Event, a short film hosted by the Sydney Opera House. It’s free and suitable for all ages. Learn more and register here: ilf.org.au/ILD