A double dose of good news

Yarrabah December 2023 Graduation Ceremony. Over 100 students have now participated in training since mid-2021. Photo courtesy: Leanne Hardy Photo

What a way to begin to wrap up the year. Yesterday, Yarrabah celebrated the achievement of the latest group of students to complete the Aboriginal Adult Literacy Campaign.

The community came together at Jilara Oval (our classroom is in the Seahawks Rugby League Club) and acknowledged the effort and achievement of the 13 completing students, as well as everyone else that has contributed to the Campaign.

A total of over 100 students have now participated since training began in 2021 – with the Campaign achieving an amazing completion rate that is at least 30 times better than mainstream approaches to improving adult literacy.

And in more good news, in recognition of these outstanding results, the Australian Government, through the National Indigenous Australian’s Agency, announced it would continue funding the work through to the end of 2024, allowing even more students to participate.

The Literacy for Life Foundation is an Aboriginal organisation that facilitates a community led approach to helping adults learn basic reading, writing and digital literacy skills. It is estimated between 40-70% of Aboriginal adults have low literacy, a result of the systemic and ongoing failure of the education system to address disadvantage.

“Adult literacy is absolutely crucial to making improvements in all areas,” says The Foundation’s Executive Director, Ngemba man, Jack Beetson.

“What has been achieved in Yarrabah is everything to do with what the community has done. It only works because it is local people making it happen,” says Jack Beetson.

Next week the community of Tennant Creek will also hold a graduation, celebrating a total of more than 70 students that have completed training since mid 2021.

That means between the two communities, almost 150 students have improved their reading, writing and digital skills in the past 2.5 years.

This community-led approach to training achieves results that are at least 30 times better than mainstream adult literacy programs. Photo courtesy: Leanne Hardy Photo


The Gunggandji and Yidinji peoples and all members of the Yarrabah community.

The Foundation’s community supporters, in particular National Indigenous Australians Agency, for providing funding for the Yarrabah Campaign in 2023 and 2024.

Also special mention to Multiplex, Seahawks Rugby League Club, Wugu Nyambil, Gindaja Treatment and Healing Centre, Yarrabah Shire Council, Gurriny Yealamucka Health Service, Indigenous Consumer Affairs Network (ICAN), Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).