Eliza Cusack

Get your school learning about indigenous culture through the Great Book Swap! An Australian not-for-profit, the Indigenous Literacy Foundation is holding the Great Book Swap of 2020, which is a fundraising event, providing students in Australian schools a chance to learn about Indigenous culture and literacy. The charity has been operating for 10 years and strives towards creating equal opportunities for children living in remote communities. The Indigenous Literacy Foundation has to this date, helped 400 remote communities, supplied 500,000 books and published 90 children’s books about Aboriginal history and culture. Manager Jane Parker said, “having this resource through the Indigenous Literacy Foundation in our scope is extremely important for not-for-profit community groups like ours, it makes it affordable and helps remote communities have a better outlook on education and ready.” 

When a school registers with the program, they will be assigned to a particular ‘house’ which have been named after five different animals in Aboriginal languages. The five houses include Yirrikipayi House (saltwater crocodile in Tiwi, NT), the Lungkura House (blue-tongued lizard in Walmajarri, WA), Wamparla House (possum in Arabana, SA) Bigibigi House (pig in Kriol, NT) and Maranydjalk House (stingray in Yolnu, NT). Signing up also lets you have access to a huge range of resources which include fact sheets, teachers notes and also books written by children in your house’s language.

The foundation explains that holding A Great Book Swap at your school is simple and can be summarised into 5 easy steps. The first is to register online, select a date and create an online event page. The second step is to promote the event and collect donations to strive to meet your target goal. Step number three is to gather books and prepare the event. The books should be celebrating your assigned indigenous language. Finally, you can hold your Book Swap day, where students can browse for a book they would like to take in turn for a donation.

Famous Australian Author Andy Griffiths is a Lifetime Ambassador of the organisation. Griffiths said, “the Great Book Swap is a win-win. Not only does it help raise money to improve literacy levels in remote communities, but the excitement and fun helps improve literacy levels in your community or organisation.”

For more information on the 2020 Great Book Swap go to https://www.greatbookswap.org.au/