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Literacy for life

The Lowitja Institute is a founding partner of Literacy for Life Foundation, an Aboriginal-led initiative aiming to lift adult literacy in Indigenous communities.

“An estimated 40 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults have minimal English literacy, a figure that rises to as high as 70 per cent in many remote areas. So long as these adult illiteracy rates exist, meaningful progress towards many Closing the Gap targets will be impossible” said Professor Jack Beetson, Literacy for Life Executive Director.

“The Literacy for Life Foundation uses an innovative, evidence-based, campaign approach that has been implemented in 30 countries around the world and is now delivering results in Australia.”

“So far more than 200 students have graduated campaigns run in eleven communities and the organisation is working towards national expansion.”

The Lowitja Institute provided initial funding for a pilot of the Literacy for Life Foundation approach, building on the well documented links between literacy and improved health outcomes. Originally developed in Cuba, the method was designed to raise adult literacy levels quickly across a region.

Support was extended by the Institute following the promising results achieved during pilot phase. The graduation rate of Literacy for Life Foundation students was five times higher than existing programs and the campaigns created a range of benefits across the community.

Building on this evidence base, the Institute helped Literacy for Life Foundation design and carry out a longitudinal study of individual and community impacts, with a focus on measuring improvements in areas such as health, education and community safety.

The Foundation is going from strength to strength, working with and for communities across the country.

“The Literacy for Life Foundation’s campaign approach relies on community ownership and control. It is driven by local leaders and delivered by local staff” said Professor Beetson, recognising the vital work of the Foundation’s team and the communities they work within.

For more about the Foundation visit their website