Thursday, September 14, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Sharing Stories, Literacy, and Cultures:

Celebrating Indigenous Literacy Day

The Whitsunday region celebrated Indigenous Literacy Day last Wednesday, sharing indigenous stories, cultures, and languages.

Indigenous men Malcolm Coongoo and Liam Ross performed the official Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony to community members and children, before all attendees were invited into the Proserpine Entertainment Centre to watch a film created by the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.

The film celebrated indigenous literacy with stories and songs from indigenous communities across Australia, as well as a livestream by Foundation Ambassadors Jessica Mauboy, Justine Clarke, Gregg Dreise, and Josh Pyke.

“Indigenous Literacy Day is very important,” explained Malcolm.

“Not only for indigenous peoples, but for non-indigenous peoples as well. A lot of the things we do, we try to get people involved, share our oral history.

“We don’t have a written language, so a lot of our style, our stories, our song and dance has been passed down through the generations over the last 60,000 years and longer!”

Malcolm and Liam also shared a local indigenous story, a creation story of the Whitsundays, of the rainbow serpent and how the Great Barrier Reef got its vibrant colours.

“It’s a story that connects all of us,” said Liam.

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