Launching Great Book Swap at SEA LIFE Aquarium!

Launching Great Book Swap at SEA LIFE Aquarium!

First Nations primary students from five Sydney schools had the opportunity to learn about and meet a dugong for the launch of one of our biggest annual fundraisers, Great Book Swap! With beloved Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF) Lifetime Ambassador and children’s author, Andy Griffiths.

Students learnt about and met Pig, the dugong that lives at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium.

The dugong living at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium is named 'Pig'! Source: Sea Life.

The ILF’s Great Book Swap is an annual fundraising event open to schools, organisations and individuals across Australia. Participants bring a favourite book, and swap it for another, all while raising funds for the ILF. 

Students at the Great Book Swap launch learnt about the four new Language Houses that schools are allocated when they register for the fundraiser; Marntuwunyini (dugong in Tiwi Language), Yari (humpback whale in Yawuru), Girrganyi (brown falcon in Bunuba) and Bigibigi (pig in Kriol).

The Language Houses are designed to engage students in a region of Australia, a First Nations language and an animal from that region. 

Each Language House is based on an animal featured in our published books. Marntuwunyini from Tiwi Seasons with Marius, Yari from Country Tells Us When…, Girrganyi from Winthali and Bigibigi from Moli bin git stak.

Students also brought in a book to swap for another one to take home.

Students excited to make their swap! Image by Joseph Mayers

Andy Griffiths said: “The Great Book Swap is a really fun way to swap one of your pre -loved books for another book that (who knows?!) you might end up loving even more. And, even better, for the price of a gold coin you’ll be raising funds to ensure that kids in remote Communities have the chance to fall in love with books and reading as well.”

The Great Book Swap is a fantastic way to celebrate reading locally and learn more about Indigenous languages and culture. Once registered, schools can also access teacher resources such as Language House fact sheets, classroom activities, colouring in activities and more!

ILF Head of Programs Zoe Cassim said: “The Great Book Swap is not only a great opportunity to raise money for ILF, but to also connect with each other. Seeing people’s face light up when they start sharing how much they love a book, character, or author, and why someone else may like it is so heartwarming. It becomes a shared experience, and that deep connection we so often miss out on.”

Schools and Early Learning Centres who host a Great Book Swap and submit their funds by 1 November 2024, will automatically win a virtual visit from ILF Lifetime Ambassador Andy Griffiths! Those that host a swap and submit their funds by 30 June 2024, will also automatically go in the draw to win the Early Bird prize; a book pack consisting of ten ILF titles.

Exploring the books to pick a new favourite! Photo by Joseph Mayers.

Corporates, organisations and social groups are also encouraged to host a Great Book Swap. It is an excellent way to engage your staff, contribute to your organisation’s Reconciliation Action Plan, start conversations and play a vital role in raising funds for our programs.

Each Language House comes with Teacher Resources and Classroom Activities to incorporate the Great Book Swap into you learning!

By participating in the Great Book Swap, you will be actively helping us gift new, culturally relevant books to children in remote Communities across the country. This year, we aim to raise $180,000 through Great Book Swap which will allow us to gift over 18,000 culturally relevant books to remote Communities.

You can register for a Great Book Swap today! Check out

The students couldn't wait to get down to the tunnel to see Pig the dugong hanging out with the stingrays. Image by Joseph Mayers

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Written by Emma Toomey

  • Posted 15 March, 2024

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