Former teacher Suzy Wilson, the owner of Riverbend Books in Bulimba, Brisbane, got the ball rolling in 2004 when she launched the Riverbend Readers Challenge to raise money to boost literacy levels. The challenge grew, and then teamed up with the Fred Hollows Foundation and the Australian Book Industry to become the Indigenous Literacy Project in 2007. In 2011 it was superseded by the Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF), a national not-for-profit charity focussed on improving literacy levels in very remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
“Can you imagine not being able to read a newspaper, a road sign or directions on a bottle of medication? Sadly, this is a reality faced by many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders living in remote communities today.”
– Karen Williams, Executive Director, ILF
The ILF is supported by the Australian Publishers Association, the Australian Booksellers Association, the Australian Society of Authors, and the Children’s Book Council of Australia. Its team of ambassadors, volunteers and five full-time staff get no government support or major corporate funding to run their core programs, which give away tens of thousands of new books annually, run literacy projects and organise major fundraising events, including Indigenous Literacy Day.
Geraldine Brooks, Adam James, Sally Morgan, Katie Noonan, Leonie Norrington, May O’Brien, Michael O’Loughlin, Felix Reibl, Sam Watson, Tara June Winch.
Suzy Wilson (Founder), Juliet Rogers (Chair), Nick Bowditch, David Gaunt (Chair), Kristin Gill, Professor Martin Nakata.