Reading matters

17 September 2019

Professor Anita Heiss To celebrate Indigenous Literacy Day (ILD), The University of Queensland held a Great Book Swap earlier this month and raised more than $3,000 to help provide books and literacy programs to remote Australian communities.

Wednesday, September 4 saw UQ staff and students from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Centre, AustLit, and School of Communication and Arts band together at Wordsmith’s Cafe with an array of books available to take home in exchange for a donation to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF).

Lifetime ambassador of the ILF and Professor of Communication at UQ Anita Heiss said this was an amazing result for a fantastic cause.

“We were part of a national celebration on ILD and thanks to the community here at UQ we raised much-needed funds to support the work of the ILF in remote communities around Australia,” Professor Heiss said.

“By providing books in English and local languages we can ensure that every child can enjoy the love of reading and the opportunities that reading provides.

“Reading matters and all Australian children deserve to have books,” she said.

Indigenous Literacy Day is a national celebration of Indigenous culture, stories, language and literacy.

Kerry Kilner, Director of AustLit and Reconciliation Action Coordinator for UQ’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences said by raising funds for the ILF through these Great Book Swap events we also raise awareness in our local and professional communities of the need to address disparities between those of us who have easy access to books and the knowledge and delight they provide and communities that don’t.

“The ILF is bringing the joy of picture books in English and in Australian languages to many communities across regional and remote Australia,” she said.

Through activities on the day attention is focused on the disadvantages experienced in remote communities in terms of access to reading and learning resources, and the rest of Australia is encouraged to raise funds and advocate for more equal access to literacy resources for these areas. 

If you still wish to donate to the Book Swap your contribution would be greatly appreciated.