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Can you imagine going through life with the literacy skills of a six year old? - News

Can you imagine going through life with the literacy skills of a six year old?

August 27, 2008

Western Australian writers; Sally Morgan, May O’Brien, Joan Winch and Lucy Dann, plus ex-Fremantle Docker, Troy Cook, joined forces to launch Indigenous Literacy Day in Western Australia on Wednesday 3rd September.

More than 200 school children from Perth and the South West visited the State Library of Western Australia and the Western Australian Museum Perth to meet these talented Indigenous personalities and to hear their amazing stories.

Indigenous Literacy Day (ILD) is a national initiative that aims to address the Indigenous literacy crisis in remote communities by raising $250,000 for books and much needed resources.

“Raising awareness of illiteracy in these areas is critical, as many Indigenous Australians struggle to read everyday items like newspapers, medication labels and bank statements, and literacy rates in these communities have been found to be worse than in many third world countries,” said David Gaunt, Chair of ILD.

This year over 400 booksellers, publishers, schools, authors and libraries hosted a variety of high profile authors and celebrities will support ILD.

“Our principle is that we listen to the Indigenous communities where we work. They’ve told us that without literacy skills, it’s almost impossible for people in those communities to manage their affairs and rise above poverty,” said CEO of The Fred Hollows Foundation, Mr Brian Doolan.

The Perth launch was organised by Fremantle Press with sponsorship from Westbooks, Random House, Magabala Books, The State Library of Western Australia, the Western Australian Museum Perth and the Wirrpanda Foundation.

In Perth, individuals can still help raise funds by purchasing books from the Indigenous List at Westbooks in Victoria Park. Westbooks is donating 20% of all their sales to the fund.

All Australians can help by sending a donation to The Fred Hollows Foundation or by buying a book at one of the participating bookshops listed on our website.

Further information on the project can be obtained from: www.worldwithoutbooks.org