Minister Mitchell launches South West Sydney Aboriginal Literacy Campaign

Minister Mitchell attended the community launch of Literacy for Life Foundation’s Aboriginal Adult Literacy Campaign in Airds on Friday.

The launch was held at Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation, Literacy for Life Foundation’s community partner for the South West Sydney Campaign.

Aboriginal Housing Office and NSW Department of Education have provided funding for the initiative, which will be the first implementation of Literacy for Life Foundation’s approach in a metropolitan location.

So far, the Foundation has graduated over 200 adult students at locations across rural and remote NSW, achieving completion rates almost five times higher than similar programs.

“The sky is the limit. Best of luck with the hard work that is about to get underway,” Minister Mitchell said at the launch.

Minister Mitchell is Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Minister for Early Childhood Education and Assistant Minister for Education.

“I can’t wait to see how it goes,” she said. There is strong evidence linking the performance of children in school to the level of education of their parents.

Data indicates between 40-70% of Aboriginal adults have low literacy levels.

Tharawal Chief Executive Darryl Wright said the initiative was long overdue.

“We have been trying to get literacy and numeracy training for years. It is so important for our kids today, and not only for our kids, but our elders. They are keen to do further study,” Wright said.

Chief Executive of Aboriginal Housing Office, Jody Broun, also spoke at the launch.

“It is exciting for Aboriginal Housing Office to not just be involved in housing but also what our families need,” Broun said.

“Instead of just talking about change it is about making it happen. It is about reading to kids and grandkids. Ultimately it is about making life better for our mob. Congratulations to everyone who has got it this far and lets really push this forward,” Broun said.

The launch was attended by Campaign partner organisations, community members and supporters, including local Federal MP Dr Mike Freelander.

Classes begin on Monday February 18 and will continue for three months. Literacy for Life Foundation is hoping to secure further funding to ensure the program continues beyond the two funded intakes which will be completed in 2019.

Executive Director Jack Beetson, Minister Mitchell and Campaign Project Officer Dylan Croall at the community launch in Airds.