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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

A celebration of Indigenous language, literacy

Celebrations will take place across the country tomorrow (Wednesday 2 September) as part of a nod to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language and literacy.

Indigenous Literacy Day will be held virtually this year, with more than 35,000 students expected to tune in to NSW Education’s Dart Connections event beaming from the Sydney Opera House from 2pm.

Children across Australia will be invited to move, shake, sing, and share a book reading of ‘Yu sabi densdensbad?’ (Can you Dance?) in Kriol by Cheryl Lardy, and in English by Play School’s Justine Clarke.

Indigenous Language Foundation (ILF) ambassador Jessica Mauboy will sing ‘The Barramundi Song’ in two Indigenous languages, Tiwi and Mangarrayi, as well as English.

Hosted by Indigenous author and performer Gregg Dreise and NITV presenter Natalie Ahmat, this year’s event gives children aged from three to 15, a celebratory experience of Indigenous language and literacy.

Jessica Mauboy and Archie Roach will feature in celebrations to inspire Australians about community engagement and why learning Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s first languages is important.

Kids and community members from the Tiwi Islands and Jilkminggan in the Northern Territory and Bidyadanga in Western Australia will share their stories about the value of language.

ILF executive director Karen Williams said Indigenous children need to visualise themselves in the stories they read to see that their “culture is cherished and their stories are celebrated by all Australians”.

Teachers and students can register via Dart Connections External link or the Sydney Opera House External link.

For secondary students, a YouTube premiere External link will be live at 12.30pm and can then be viewed on-demand.

The Indigenous Literacy Foundation is encouraging students to donate a gold coin on Wednesday, with every $10 putting a book in the hands of a child in remote Australia.

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