Indigenous Australians, who comprise the world’s oldest surviving culture, have relied on oral tradition to define themselves and their place in the universe for more than 60,000 years.
Today, many Indigenous Australians live in isolated, extremely poor communities. Substandard housing, high unemployment, and low levels of literacy and school attendance severely undermine health, well-being, and cultural continuity. Not surprisingly in these conditions, the beliefs and traditions of Indigenous Australians—expressed in hundreds of languages and dialects—are now disappearing.
But the Northern Territory Library (NTL), which covers a network of 33 public libraries, is working hard to change that. Many of NTL’s most remote libraries are offering free training and access to computers and the Internet. These skills and tools are providing indigenous people with a new way to connect to the past—and to engage in the present.
Learn more: Our Story Project
(Source: gatesfoundation.org for its work to improve the lives of Indigenous Australians, a NTL was awarded the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation 2007 Access to Learning Award. The program is highlight on their website.)
The notion that all children could and should be inventors of their own theories, critics of other people’s ideas, analyzers of evidence, and makers of their own personal marks on this own complex world - this is an idea with revolutionary implications.
Programs at Work