What is literacy?
Literacy involves the integration of listening, speaking, reading, writing and critical thinking.
It also includes the cultural knowledge which enables a speaker, writer or reader to recognise and use language appropriate to different social situations.
Why is literacy important?
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights asserts that every person has the right to education of which literacy is at the core. Literacy is necessary for social and human development. It is an essential tool used to eradicate poverty, reduce child mortality, curb population growth, achieve gender equality and ensure sustainable development, peace and democracy.
According to UNESCO, literate parents are more likely to send their children to school; literate people are better able to access continuing educational opportunities; and literate societies are better geared to meet pressing development.
What is the Aboriginal Literacy Foundation’s mission?
The Aboriginal Literacy Foundation seeks to transform the lives of Indigenous children by focusing on literacy and numeracy education. Working in collaboration with local communities and partners, we develop literacy skills with Indigenous children so that they can succeed in school, their community and beyond.
How did the ALF start?
Dr Anthony Cree OAM, founder and CEO, launched the Aboriginal Literacy Foundation in 2003. This was a natural extension of 25 years of service to Indigenous education within the government, university and school sectors. He was amazed and saddened by the shocking lack of programs and resources available to address the gap in literacy education amongst Indigenous children in Australia. His inspiring vision has created a team of committed and passionate volunteer tutors who work in local communities and foster local partnerships and ownership.
Why do Aboriginal children need special help?
By almost all socioeconomic indicators, Australia’s Aboriginal children are the most disadvantaged group in the nation. The educational outcomes of Indigenous children are closely related to their opportunities for further education and employment. A lack of education can lead to a life of poverty, hopelessness, crime and despair.
There is an enormous gap in the English literacy rates of Indigenous and non- Indigenous people in Australia. The gap is even wider for Indigenous people living in remote and isolated communities. Sadly, 87% of Indigenous children in regional and remote areas struggle to read and write and fall well below the national literacy benchmarks. Early intervention and support in literacy and numeracy skills is vital to keep Indigenous children engaged in education. Life outcomes and opportunities can be dramatically improved if indigenous children remain engaged in education. In fact completing year 10 or 11 increases an Indigenous person’s prospect of employment by 40%.
What specific programs are the ALF currently offering?
The ALF currently provide several specific programs involving different strategies, which all share the main aim of improving literacy skills of Indigenous youth.
These specific programs include:
For more information on these initiatives visit the Our Programs page.
Is the ALF affiliated with any government or religious organisation?
The Aboriginal Literacy Foundation is an independent, non-government organisation, and is completely non-denominational.
How can I help?
There are many different ways in which you can support the Aboriginal Literacy Foundation and in turn help improve literacy standards amongst our young Indigenous population. You may help by becoming a partner, sponsoring, volunteering, donating financially, donating books or by holding your own fundraising event.
For more information visit the Get Involved page.
Can I apply for help to improve literacy skills at my school or in my area?
Any applications for help to improve the literacy skills of Indigenous young people in your school or area may be made by emailing the foundation at email@example.com
Please include specific details about the problems your school or area are facing, and your contact details.
Please keep in mind that whilst the ALF strives to improve the literacy of as many Indigenous young people as possible, with limited resources we are unable to help everyone.
Who do the ALF work with?
The ALF works closely with teachers, parents and guardians of Indigenous young people in order to ensure that they get the best possible opportunity to improve upon their literacy skills both at school, and at home. A strong working relationship with community leaders and elders also guarantees that the needs of the most unfortunate Indigenous young people are attended to and handled with sensitivity and care.
Why are our programs so effective?
The programs initiated by the ALF have proven to be extremely successful. Research shows that early intervention is the key to giving children the best chance of becoming literate, so the ALF works hard to interact with struggling Indigenous children as early as possible.
Rather than simply mailing books to children and hoping for the best, the ALF goes to the most remote communities and works right alongside the children in order to give them the best possible chance of gaining vital literacy skills that will prove invaluable for them for the rest of their lives.
One of the most integral steps towards ensuring the effectiveness of our literacy programs is the execution of literacy testing and evaluation for all involved students. The testing provides early detection of literacy and numeracy problems among Indigenous students, which allows for guidance and implementation of early intervention, support and the tailoring of educational programs to best suit the needs of each individual student.
Who are our community partners?
The ALF is supported by various community partners who play a vital role in the continued growth and efforts of the Foundation. These partners include:
Aboriginal Benefits Foundation, The Andrews Foundation, Ansvar Insurance, The Ballarat Foundation, Besen Family Foundation, Cecil & Neita Quail Charitable Trust, Collier Charitable Fund, Coca Cola Foundation, Estate of the late Daniel Scott, FRRR, GWA Griffiths Estate, HV McKay Charitable Trust, ING Foundation, ISPT, James Kirby Foundation, The Lord Mayor’s Charitable Fund, The Marian & EH Flack Trust, McEwen Foundation, Melbourne Community Foundation, Minter Ellison Charitable Gifts Committee, Newsboys Foundation, O’Neill Foundation, The Ray & Joyce Uebergang Foundation, The Reading Foundation, St George Foundation and the Sunshine Foundation.
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