Indigenous Literacy Day – 4 Sept 2013

Today is Indigenous Literacy Day which promotes literacy in remote indigenous communities. The Indigenous Literacy Foundation raises funds for books and other literacy projects in these areas, with over 100 000 books supplied to 230 remote communities over the past 4 years. Many local schools have been fundraising.

Here are some useful resources for the ACARA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures Cross-Curriculum Priority:

Online Larrakia calendar: seasons according to the indigenous Larrakia people of the Darwin region

September for us means warmer weather and maybe hayfever – but for the Larrakia people, September brings the Dalirrgang season – the Build Up for the wet season, with mangrove fruit and magpie geese. This new interactive online calendar has colourful pictures, simple information and descriptive words read by Larrakia people. Interesting and informative and a great contrast to our seasons down south!

From CSIRO: “For the first time, detailed Aboriginal seasonal knowledge of the Darwin region has been converted into an interactive online educational resource, aligned to the Australian Curriculum: Science. Researcher Emma Woodward said many Aboriginal people are concerned about the loss of their knowledge, while at the same time there is strong demand from schools for more traditional ecological information. The observations of Aboriginal people have revealed relationships and links between plants, animals, water and climate that other people were not aware of.

The online Larrakia calendar shows seven seasons in an annual cycle of climatic and ecological understanding. The Larrakia calendar could also be used to monitor future environmental change.”

Teacher resources:

ABC indigenous portal

Excellent links to news, TV programs, online videos, arts reviews, community stories.

The Indigenous Quarter (ABC TV)

Part of the ABC’s informative Quarters programs (approx 15 mins each month) – Technology, Culture, Health, Consumer, Arts, Environment, Finance, Food,  Rural, Weather. Videos remain online for several months.

The Indigenous Quarter monthly program reports on the latest indigenous news. This week – the Federal Government hands back 5000 hectares of land to traditional owners in the top end; historian Bill Gammage tells how Australia’s first inhabitants shaped the landscape.

27 Aug edition:

More ABC videos about indigenous news and issues:

NITV: National Indigenous TV

Channel 34 on digital TV; part of SBS. Interesting programs eg. NITV News, the Barefoot Sports Show, the Marngrook Footy Show, Yaarnz, Living Strong, Grounded, Volumz Music Program, Waabiny Time and Go Lingo – popular shows that send out positive messages about indigenous Australia and speak primarily to indigenous Australians.

NITV is highly regarded for its quality documentaries. From 1 July, a series of mini documentaries has been shown weeknights at 6.30pm. Our Stories, Our Way, Everyday are 15 minute films by emerging filmmakers, showing a slice of life from their communities. Available on SBS on Demand.

Creative Spirits

This comprehensive website has excellent links for  indigenous culture and resources. It is curated by a non indigenous person who has received acclaim for the information provided.

Books and reviews about indigenous culture – art, autobiography, children’s, novels, history, sport, teaching resources etc:

Films dealing with indigenous issues – indigenous and non indigenous directors. Includes synopsis of each:

The black list: film and TV projects since 1970 with indigenous Australians in key creative roles

Published in June 2010, Screen Australia’s comprehensive reference book The black list catalogued the work of 257 Indigenous Australians with credits since 1970 as producer, director, writer or director of photography. Includes details of the film and TV projects and availability.

Search the Find a Film database:

PDF of the book:

Updated chronology of indigenous film and TV 1970 – 2012:

New media may help save ancient languages

80% of Australia’s 150 remaining Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander languages are highly endangered. Experts recently met in Melbourne to discuss how to preserve these languages – eg. online indigenous language lessons; films; online stories written & spoken in indigenous languages; apps for indigenous languages…

Treasure trove of indigenous language documents discovered

200 documents in 100 indigenous languages from across Australia were recently unearthed at the NSW State Library, detailing early contact between Aboriginal people and European settlers. Indigenous services librarian Ronald Briggs: “…if you’re learning about language you’re also learning about culture and a lot of the other written documents that we’ve found are telling us about our cultures as they were practiced 100-150 years ago, it’s absolutely fantastic”. He will help indigenous communities access the material.





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *