My Brisbane Writer’s Festival experience began today with the opportunity to attend the Indigenous Literacy Day: Book Launch and Book Swap presented by the Indigenous Literacy Foundation in the beautiful Angel’s Palace. This building is designed to be an immersive experience and the artwork on the exterior of this tent was designed by artist Gordon Hookey.
The main focus of the event was to launch the book Two ways strong written by indigenous students from Concordia Lutheran College. The book tells the story of what it is like for a young person from a remote community to have to leave home to attend boarding school.
The launch was officiated by the Foundation’s patron, Hon Quentin Bryce. Her words were both touching and inspirational. She began by thanking the indigenous women who have taught her throughout her life what it is to be an Elder.
Quentin Bryce then went on to discuss how there is something irresistible about a story and that a world without stories is unimaginable. Yet, in many homes, there are very few, if any, books. The work of the Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF) is to redress this imbalance. By the end of 2017, sixteen thousand books will have been delivered to indigenous communities by the Foundation. Importantly, many of these stories have been written by indigenous authors and celebrate indigenous ways of life, culture, languages, and traditions. Suzy Wilson, the founder of the ILF, went on to say that these books provide opportunities to reading and literacy and this opens doors to possibilities, making children strong.
Following the formalities, guests at the event were invited to participate in a book swap by donating a favourite book and taking a book from the collection for the cost of a gold coin.
Simultaneous Indigenous Literacy Day events were being held at the Sydney Opera House, Foundation Square in Melbourne and the State Library of Western Australia in Perth.
Attending this event on a beautiful Brisbane spring day was a privilege and a wonderful way to begin the Brisbane Writer’s Festival.
One more thing….Something to keep an eye out for is the two board books for babies & toddlers that are being published by the ILF to be released in December.