Raising Voices for Indigenous Literacy

This year’s Sydney Writers' Festival features Songs for Stories, an event to support the Indigenous Literacy Project (ILP). It’s an echo of a Melbourne Writers' Festival event, Songwriters, which over the last three years has raised more than $500,000 to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders for education.

But where does the money go? Novelist Kate Grenville has been involved not just with fundraising but also teaching in communities as part of the ILP. Recently she wrote for Meanjin about her experience visiting Manyallaluk Community in the Northern Territory. She reflects on how English is often a third or fourth language in Manyallaluk learnt more from TV than teachers. Grenville read stories written where “the first-person pronoun was always in the plural. These were, indeed, communities, where people do things together.”

The Wheeler Centre’s Gala Night of Storytelling also supported the ILP and featured performances from Paul Kelly, John Safran and Tara June Winch.