This month, we're raising vital funds for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF) and helping to spread awareness for Indigenous Literacy Day (2nd September). We've teamed up with the amazing Dr. Anita Heiss - a lifetime ambassador for the ILF and prolific Australian author publishing across numerous genres, to create a gorgeous Charity By Design lanyard!
We will be donating $10 from every RO Lanyard x Anita Heiss - Tiddas sold directly towards the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.
If you've never heard of the ILF, we highly recommend viewing the video below to understand why they are so incredibly important, and how their work impacts the lives of Indigenous families.
I certainly have never had to think about the impact of never seeing myself, my language or my community represented in the books I read, or books I am surrounded by. For most Australians, it's a no brainer that we can find a book that aligns with us and our children on a fundamental level.
For many Indigenous families, this simply is not their reality when it comes to literature, and books that represent their culture have often been few and far between. The ILF not only makes a difference to the lives of these Indigenous families by helping kids learn how to read, but also by running programs inspiring communities to tell and publish their own stories.
Anita is an Indigenous Australian herself, a proud member of the Wiradjuri nation of Central New South Wales - she was born in Gadigal country, spent much of her life on Dharawal land near La Perouse, but is now living in Brisbane on Jagera and Turrbal country. We couldn't think of anyone more perfect to partner with for this Charity By Design fundraiser!
The Tiddas Lanyard features a stunning Jacaranda print available in 3 base colours... blue, coral pink or purple. The Jacaranda features on the front of Anita's new acclaimed novel, Tiddas, a story about sisterhood and friendship.
Check out Anita's adult novels here, kids books here and her highly acclaimed anthology Growing up Aboriginal in Australia, oh and she also just happens to have amazing taste in jewels too.
Anita shared some thought-provoking insight with us as to WHY the work undertaken by the ILF is so crucial.
"Literature by Indigenous authors is important because it reflects the way we see ourselves, our truths in history, our lives and contributions to society today. Our literature not only showcases where we fit into the national literary landscape, but where we sit on the Australian identity radar
It’s essential that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children see themselves in the books they read and can relate to the experiences of the characters they engage with on the page.
Many, if not most Indigenous people in remote communities speak more than two or three local languages, which demonstrates their knowledge and intelligence. But the reality is they are surrounded in their daily lives by communications in English. Warning information, signs and labels that keep people safe. Information on food packaging that allow for healthy choices. Street signs to get to places. These are basic daily needs in terms of being literate in English.
Just as important, is the capacity and desire for young Indigenous kids to read books that bring them joy. Books that tell stories they can relate to in both English and their own languages. Books that entertain, engage and also educate. Books that improve literacy so that they too can live a full life, because I know first-hand that reading opens doors to all of life’s wonderful opportunities.
Kids who can read English can search the internet and see what’s happening around the world. They can have conversations with other young people outside their communities. They can be social on a different level. This is not to diminish what they have which is rich and significant. Literacy just provides more opportunities, which many of us take for granted every day – including having access to books in our homes, in school libraries, and in public libraries."
Find out more and help spread the word here:
INSTAGRAM > @IndigenousLiteracyFoundation
FACEBOOK > @IndigenousLiteracyFoundation
TWITTER > @IndigenousLF
WEBSITE > www.indigenousliteracyfoundation.org.au