Did you know that for every five Indigenous kids living in remote communities, only one will be able to read at the minimum standard?

That's only one in five kids who are gaining one of the most important keys to a satisfying and successful life - the ability to read. This shocking statistic is why I'm taking part in the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation's Wall of Hands Indigenous Literacy Appeal.

Visit my personal wall of hands by clicking on the link below and please sponsor me to help more kids read:


Unfortunately, regular schooling isn't always enough for Indigenous children in remote communities. Many have hearing difficulties and for many English is a second language. The ALNF is working with Indigenous communities and schools around Australia to overcome these hurdles. Their specialised programs are making a real difference for hundreds of children.

But they need a hand to reach even more kids.

By sponsoring my wall, you'll be helping the ALNF extend the reach of their award-winning literacy programs. If we reach the appeal target of $300,000 they'll be able to continue current literacy programs in Tennant Creek & Mungkarta and establish programs in two new remote communities. A donation of as little as $5 can help provide reading resources for a child in need.

So please join me in raising a hand for Indigenous literacy, by donating to my wall of hands today.

Thank you for your support.

Getting Involved as a School

Image of children for ALNF Wall of Hands

You can either use the link above and donate via our wall or create your own school wall by registering at http://wallofhands.com.au and click the "Donate" button on the home page selecting "School/Class" on the donations page.

You can do fun stuff like create a group hand mural or school profile photo. Don't forget to mention that Indigenous Australia sent you as we're keen to see how many of our visitors have taken up the challenge.




Message Sticks Indigenous Film Festival

Held at the Sydney Opera House from Thurs 6th May - Sun 9th May, Message Sticks Indigenous Film Festival is an opportunity for the Indigenous community of Australia to share their Australia. The Festival has showcased the works of Indigenous storytellers and film-makers for 11 years and achieved widespread national recognition when it was awarded the 2009 IF Award for Best Australian Film Festival.

The Festival curated by award-winning filmmakers, Rachel Perkins and Darren Dale, features a selection of documentaries, shorts and features that provide insight into issues and experiences of the indigenous community.

‘Many of the films address contemporary indigenous life: the unexpected and sometimes delightful things that happen at the intersection of ancient Aboriginal and modern Australian culture.’ The Australian

One of the featured films was 'Boxing For Palm Island' telling the story of a group of talented young boxers and their coach Ray Dennis a 73 year old man who moved to the Palm Islnd area 10 years ago battling a drinking problem. The film encompasses the kids struggles to defy stereotypes and take the future into their own hands with the support of Uncle Ray.

"And I was going to end up going astray so I had to get out of the place. I always had success training boxers. Some of the boxers I used to train live on Palm Island so I thought well I'll go over there. That might keep me out of trouble."- Ray Dennis

Still today, Ray Dennis trains boxers to compete in state and national competitions including the Quuensland Titles and Australian National Championships. The Director Adrian Wills said he wanted to tell a positive story from a community that has been described in the past as 'the most violent place outside a warzone'.

"I was really excited about being a part of a project that was you know a hopeful example of that community and something that showed it was a positive, interactive, inspiring community - which it is."- Adrian Wills

Another documentary that featured in the festival was Big Fella. A film that followed the experience of Director Michael Longbottom's best friend Rodney ARdner and his weight loss battle. Rodney was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at 36, which isn't uncommon in the Indigenous community. He was told that his heart and kidneys weren't doing very well and if he didn't change, he'd only a few years to live. Rodney hopes to inspire people in similar situations to change their lives, "I'm just a much happier person and I'm able to do a lot more."


NIN’S BROTHER Message Sticks Indigenous Film Festival

Aboriginal oral health partnerships launched

(Cited from ABC.net.au on Wednesday 8th April 2009)

A consortium of Aboriginal community controlled health organisations from centres including Walgett, Bourke, Orange and Wellington will launch two oral health partnerships today.

The Bila Muuji Aboriginal Health Service will sign a memorandum of understanding with Charles Sturt University to establish a student placement program for dentistry and oral health therapy graduates.
Aboriginal oral health partnerships
Sandra Meihubers from the Bila Muuji Service says she hopes student placements will give undergraduates a greater understanding of the poor oral health of Indigenous people.

"Students just having that first-hand experience ... it sure beats reading about something in a newspaper or a textbook if you can actually meet people from a community and see first-hand what is actually going on," she said.

The health service has also worked in conjunction with the Greater Western Area Health Service to appoint an oral health promotion coordinator.

Ms Meihubers says many Aboriginal residents suffer from poor oral health.

"It's quite critical in the early ages, we find dental decay rates in the Aboriginal kids sadly are much higher than the rest of the population," she said.

"Generally decay rates in rural areas are higher, but then in the Aboriginal population are higher again than the state average."

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