About us

The Indigenous Learning App is an initiative of the World Literacy Foundation Australia, a not-for-profit charitable organisation striving to bring literacy skills to marginalized children. Further details can be found at www.WorldLiteracyFoundation.org

What we do

We produce local e-books, stories, literacy games and educational activities to encourage children to learn. We collaborate with Indigenous children, young people, linguistic experts and the local community to create a wider range of suitable digital educational content.

The Indigenous Learning App is a digital tool for teachers, parents and children, which bridges the literacy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous children. It provides suitable digital tools to help children learn English in conjunction with their mother tongue.

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Our Indigenous Learning App:

  • Provides high-quality digital educational content in both English and identified local language.
  • Enhance the literacy, numeracy and reading skills of Indigenous children in remote communities who are speaking a local dialect.
  • Prepares Indigenous children for school.
  • Digitally preserve the local language.
  • Provides Indigenous communities with high-quality, localized e-books using local stories, illustrations, pictures, words and sounds.
  • Encourage education and awareness of Indigenous heritage and culture amongst wider Australian communities and schools.
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How we do it

The Indigenous Learning App works in partnership with technology companies, literacy and linguistics specialists and, most importantly, the local community, to bring together a team of people with a wider variety of expertise.

The e-book building technology and the software "Tendril" play a critical role in the ability to bring together two languages, and incorporate localized content such as illustrations and pictures.

Our Project Manager, Sarah Novinetz, is based in Darwin and is the critical link between all stakeholders and contributors.

How can children, schools and the community access the content?

We provide a log-in to each user, allowing them to access suitable content for their individualized purposes.
The content can be accessed by phone, tablet, or computer.

Why we do it

In Australia, there are approximately 200 Indigenous languages. These languages vary across remote and isolated communities, and are often the sole language spoken by children.

Limited exposure to English in the early years of childhood directly impacts a child’s ability to learn literacy and reading skills at school, and jeopardizes their future education and employment opportunities.

This has a strong, negative flow-on effect on future education, employment, health and lifestyle. More than 80% of Indigenous children in remote communities still struggle with reading and literacy skills.


As these children progress in school, the gap between them and their non-Indigenous peers widens. Over the past 16 years in Australia, there have been little improvements in closing the gap on literacy, reading and numeracy skills of Indigenous children, suggesting that Indigenous children from disadvantaged backgrounds lack vital school preparedness in literacy and language. We decided that something needed to be done.

Our project seeks to provide vital early literacy support to Indigenous children who are experiencing inherent and significant socio-economic disadvantage.

2019 is the UN Year of Indigenous Languages

What people say about us

ANDREW KAY

CEO at World Literacy Foundation
“We’re excited to launch this new piece of technology, which allows Indigenous children to learn English in parallel with their traditional language either at school, at home or via their mobile devices”

SARAH NOVINETZ

Project Manager at Indigenous Learning App
“This App will help to address the high rates of illiteracy in many remote Indigenous communities. We can see the positive impact of this innovative literacy tool in helping to encourage school preparedness in those early years”

OLGA SCHOLES

Executive Officer At Nawarddeken Academy
"The Nawarddeken Academy appreciates our working relationship with the World Literacy Foundation Australia and the new Indigenous Learning App in developing Kunwinjku Resources to further support language learning and maintenance."

AMY STANLEY

GM Human Resource and Corporate Affairs at ATCO
“ATCO cares strongly about making a real difference in the lives of the people in the communities where we operate, and partnering with The World Literacy Foundation on this initiative is just another step in cementing our commitment and efforts to benefit future generations.”

Partnerships driving effective learning

The Indigenous Learning App has been designed to deliver quality literacy resources in remote Indigenous settings in a new way.
The Program draws on the power of partnerships across many sectors, including:

ATCO Australia, Lord Mayor’s Charitable Fund, Bennelong Foundation and Shine On Foundation.

Indigenous Learning App

The Indigenous Learning App is an initiative of the World Literacy Foundation. We are registered with the ACNC as a Public Benevolent Institution and DGR1 and TCC status.

We respectfully acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands on which our students live and are educated. The rich and diverse history, cultures and languages of Aboriginal people are valued and respected.

We acknowledge parents, families and communities as the first educators of their children. Aboriginal people have a long tradition of teaching and learning through sharing their connections with the land and sea, and through their stories and lived experiences that are passed from generation to generation. We recognise and value the learning that Aboriginal children bring with them from their homes and communities into the classroom.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY

The World Literacy Foundation Australia and the Indigenous Learning App acknowledges and honours First Nations peoples, paying respect to Elders past and present as custodians of this land.

In Melbourne we live and work on the land of the Wurundjeri People of the Kulin Nation and in Darwin, we live and work on the land of the traditional lands of the Larrakia people.

Contact Us

We’d love to hear from you: