image courtesy of Wayne Quilliam for SNAICC

The Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation (ALNF), established in 1999, is a registered national charity dedicated to raising language, literacy and numeracy standards in Australia. Since 2008, the ALNF has been working in close partnership with CAGES Foundation in the Macleay Valley Region, northern NSW.
The Early Language and & Literacy: Kempsey/Macleay Valley Project is a resounding success, and continues to flourish and bring about systemic and community driven change. Since its commencement, the project has grown from 3 to 23 sites and has improved the literacy outcomes of over 1,000 children under the age of 8.
Through an Australian Skills Quality Authority accredited Certificate IV course, adults in the community are provided with the vital teaching tools, resources and strategies necessary to mediate barriers to learning and positively impact children’s school readiness, engagement and attendance.
The project’s whole-of-community approach strengthens the ability of communities to teach their own children fundamental literacy skills, while increasing the skill sets, capabilities and engagement of adults.
By investing in building the capacity of community members, it is ensured that increasing numbers of children will continue to achieve greater literacy outcomes and the service can continue to be delivered sustainably and well into the future.

Indi Kindi is an innovative early literacy program run by The Nangala Project in remote Northern Territory. Developed for 0-5 year olds it supports families to improve the global learning readiness of children entering pre-school and school. Supported by Cages Foundation since inception Indi Kindi was founded at the request of the Borroloola Law women who wanted better educational access for their grandchildren and is a great example of a project which harnesses locally led change.

The Gudaga Program is a long-term research initiative looking at the health, development and service use of Aboriginal children in South Western Sydney. The Program started in response to discussions with the Tharawal Aboriginal community about the need for appropriate outreach services for mothers and children. Gudaga (meaning healthy baby in the local Tharawal language) is now strongly embedded within the local community. The CAGES Foundation has provided funding for a new Program Leader to take Gudaga to the next level, and translate research findings into better health services for the community.

Ngroo Education Incorporated works to improve the opportunity for Aboriginal children to achieve their potential by increasing their level of participation in mainstream early childhood education and other relevant services and settings.

Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation is an Aboriginal community controlled regional health service based in Broken Hill providing primary health care, social and community programs to the Aboriginal people in Broken Hill, Wilcannia, Menindee and Ivanhoe in far west NSW. (‘Maari ma’ means ‘coming together, working together’ in the Barkindji language. The Barkindji tribe are from rural and remote far west NSW. Barkindji people are also known as ‘River people’ due to their close proximity and connection to the Darling River.)
CAGES have funded Maari Ma’s Healthy Start playgroup in Broken Hill for Aboriginal children and their families: learning through play in a supported and safe environment and incorporating an early literacy program called Little Kids + Books. The funds now contribute to Maari Ma’s Healthy Start program: our mothers, babies, toddlers and young people service, working to prevent chronic disease in later life by giving children the best possible start to life. Healthy Start includes holistic clinical services, education, awareness, and health promotion.

SNAICC is the national non-government peak body in Australia representing the interests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families.
Founded in 1981, SNAICC was established to engage in activities that promote and accommodate a strong voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and their families.
Over the past 30 years SNAICC’s efforts have resulted in many key milestones and achievements both in policy developments at state, territory and federal levels and in developing innovative and useful resources for the sector.
SNAICC is governed by an influential National Executive made up of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled children and families’ services .

Just Reinvest NSW works to address the significant over-representations of Aboriginal young people in custody through a Justice Reinvestment approach. Just Reinvest NSW consists of a coalition of more than twenty organisations and individuals. In 2013, Just Reinvest NSW began a partnership with the Bourke community to implement the first major justice reinvestment trial in Australia, the Maranguka Justice Reinvestment Project.

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