Fogarty Foundation supports Indigenous literacy

One thousand copies of the Waarda series for young readers will be distributed to remote Indigenous communities thanks to the support of the Fogarty Foundation and the Indigenous Literacy Project.

Western Australia’s Fogarty Foundation has provided funding to help the Indigenous Literacy Project supply a thousand books to their network of Indigenous communities in Western Australia.

Indigenous Literacy Ambassador and Waarda series editor Sally Morgan said she was thrilled that books by new and emerging Aboriginal authors would make their way to children with the least access – both financially and physically – to literacy resources.

“In a sense, the Waarda series has a dual role – to add to the Aboriginal reading material currently available and to promote what can be achieved by Aboriginal people,” said Morgan.

The project will commence in 2009 with the distribution of The Great Cold by Gladys Milroy and Bush Secrets by Jessica Lister and Tjalaminu Mia. It is one of a number of education initiatives supported by The Fogarty Foundation.

“We believe that education is the best avenue for providing opportunities for people and communities and engaging with Indigenous children and improving their literacy, is the key to improving their educational and life outcomes,” said Executive Chairperson Annie Fogarty.

David Gaunt, Chair of the Indigenous Literacy Project which works in partnership with the Fred Hollows Foundation, said it was a terrific initiative.

“[It] exactly fulfils the objectives of our Project: the provision of culturally appropriate books which should be of genuine interest to the people who get them.

“We’re really enthusiastic about the publications, and delighted to be involved,” said Gaunt.

The second set of books in the Waarda series will be distributed in March 2010 with the final two books to be supplied in time for Indigenous Literacy Day on 1 September 2010.

About the Fogarty Foundation
The Fogarty Foundation was established in May 2000 by Annie and Brett Fogarty with the aim of establishing a fund that would benefit the community through encouraging endeavours in excellence through education, the community and in life.

About the Indigenous Literacy Project
The Indigenous Literacy Project (ILP) is a partnership between the Australian Book Industry and The Fred Hollows Foundation. Working closely with the Australian Booksellers Association and the Australian Publishers Association, The Fred Hollows Foundation purchases and supplies books and other culturally appropriate learning materials to remote communities where The Foundation works.

About the Waarda series
The Waarda series for young readers was developed by Fremantle Press in partnership with the UWA School of Indigenous Studies. It consists of six first chapter books primarily written by new and emerging Indigenous authors ranging in age from 15 to 82 years and representing some six Aboriginal communities in Western Australia. The Great Cold by Gladys Milroy and Bush Secrets by Jessica Lister and Tjalaminu Mia are available now. The Beach Sports Car by Darlene Oxenham and Lili and Her Shadow by Pat Dudgeon and Laura Dudgeon will be launched at the All Saints Literature Festival in March 2010. The Magic Fair by Sally Morgan and another story by Cheryl Kickett-Tucker will be launched on Indigenous Literacy Day, 1 September 2010.

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