The Byron Bay Writers Festival has announced it will support the Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF) as its new charity partner.
Festival director Edwina Johnson believes the fit between the two organisations is perfect: ‘I feel so honoured that we are able to bring such incredible literary talent to the northern rivers. Our association with ILF means we can transfer some of that benefit via fundraising to remote Indigenous communities through the fabulous work of the ILF’.
IFL executive director Karen Williams said the Indigenous Literacy Foundation was set up with the support of the Australian Book Industry in 2005. ‘The core aim of the ILF is to address literacy levels and improve the lives and opportunities of Indigenous children living in remote communities. Over the past five years it has delivered over 100,000 books to more than 230 communities.
‘I was over the moon when I received the call from Edwina informing us of the decision to support our organisation. We are only able to provide these vital literacy resources and publish community literacy projects through the generous support of organisations like the Byron Bay Writers Festival.’
Williams said the funds raised via the festival will help contribute to the organisation’s ability to increase the number of books it sends out in 2014. ‘Book supply is our biggest program area and many homes still do not have books. Less than 36 per cent of people living in a remote community have access to a library’.
Johnson believes festival-goers will find a visit to the ILF festival pop-up tent a highly informative experience. ‘I encourage everyone to visit the ILF at the festival to learn more about the issues facing these communities. Many children in these areas don’t encounter written or spoken English until they reach school.’