Indigenous Literacy Day


At this time every year, as our homepage attests, we make a special effort to remind people about the work of the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. Gleebooks has a long and close association with the ILF, and is proud to pay tribute for the annual Indigenous Literacy Day—marked on the first Wednesday in September (Sept 5th this year). For over ten years, the ILF has been working in and with remote Indigenous communities, with books, resources and Community projects, to address the chronic and alarming state of Indigenous literacy in remote Australia. It’s a national disgrace, and we all hold a responsibility to address it. 


I could cite statistics, but would urge all readers to look at the excellent ILF website . You’ll find a detailed and comprehensive outline of why, how, when and where the Foundation is working. We’re proud the ILF’s work sprang out of an initiative of the Australian Book Industry. The generous and ongoing support from authors (ambassadors include David Malouf, Andy Griffiths, Anita Heiss, Justine Clarke and other wonderful writers), publishers, printers and booksellers has broadened the reach and deepened the scope of that work. We use Indigenous Literacy Day to both mark the progress of the Foundation’s work, and, of course, to ask for financial support from you, the readers of Australia. Anything, as simple as buying gift wrap for a gold coin, buying a book on the 5th, organising a book swap for a gold coin at work, school, your book club, or, even better, just jumping on the ILF website and making a donation. It’s a great cause, please commit!  


On the reading front, I’ve a couple of books to note—two that have just been released. Scrublands is a top-rate new Australian crime novel by ex-Fairfax journalist Chris Hammer. It is a well-paced and very well-written mystery set in a drought-ravaged Riverina. It’s lengthy—as it needs to be, with a complex plot and rich and wide-ranging subject matter to pursue and unravel. The second new release is also by a first time novelist, Ross Watkins—The Apology. This is a terrific psychological drama, carefully plotted and with unexpected twists. Set in Sydney’s west there is much about family, forgiveness, truth-telling, lying and coping, in a story that will keep you guessing. My third book is a mention (more next month, as it’s an October release). The Children’s House, by young West Australian novelist, Alice Nelson is beautifully written—a powerful, touching, ultimately uplifting story. Set in New York twenty years ago, this is a novel about displacement, trauma, family and survival which is totally engaging. Ambitious in scope (Rwandan genocide, the Kibbutz movement in early Israel) and minute in detail, this is a book rich in moral complexity with a strong narrative thread and central character. Highly recommended. David