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.

Since 1924, Royal Far West’s mission has been to connect rural and remote Australian children with the healthcare they need.
We believe that all children have the fundamental human right to a high standard of health and wellbeing. Geography should not be a cause for disadvantage, yet children living in rural and remote areas of Australia are up to five times as likely as those living in urban areas to have challenges with their developmental health.
With our team of paediatric specialists and the innovative use of technology, we work across health, education and social care to achieve the best possible outcomes for country children, their families and communities

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.  CAGES Foundation has supported Ngroo with grants that have been used for capacity building, operational support and program delivery over the past six years.

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 .

Contact Inc.’s role in the community is to help to address the impact of isolation for children, families and communities. Contact serves the community by working cross the breadth of child and family environments, engaging with parents, carers and agencies that work in or are related to children and families, and evolving approaches and solutions in ways that best fit local child, family, community context and need.

CAGES Foundation funding will enable a dedicated Fieldworker role that will work within defined areas of northwest NSW. Community development approaches will be utilised to complement existing Aboriginal controlled organisations and other child and family services in the region. The Fieldworker will act as a catalyst to link people together and identifying as appropriate ways to evolve new approaches to meet identified child service gaps or needs.

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.

Jarjum Preschool


Jarjum is an Aboriginal Preschool and has been serving the Aboriginal community in Lismore for 30 plus years. Our Centre’s program has a therapeutic framework that incorporates allied health and holistic supports through our Community Development Worker, and Allied Health Coordinator. This approach ensures that both children and families receive programs that are delivered within a culturally safe space.

Jarjum Centre also facilitates additional programs for the community such as the Homework Hub. The Homework Hub provides educational support with local Social workers for Indigenous children who are Primary school aged. Additionally, we provide Early childhood training for Indigenous women within our community to gain viable and long-term employment opportunities.  Over the duration of the preschools operations, Jarjum has operated out of an old Queenslander style home. As a result, Jarjum Centre has had restricted service delivery to 20 children per day. This space has also impacted on the types of therapy we can deliver and supports to families. Consequently, we have had to turn many Indigenous children away from our program over the years. However due to partners such as CAGES Foundation, Jarjum Centre will relocate to a purpose-built facility to increase preschool enrolments, and have an increased capacity to deliver the best program that we can.

Dalaigur Preschool 


The supported playgroup at Dalaigur Preschool supports Aboriginal parents, nannas, carers and their children.  Playgroup is held each Tuesday during each school term and focuses on arts, crafts, literacy, educational and play based activities for children aged 0-5 years.  Dalaigur is fortunate to have a group of committed parents, carers, aunties and grandmothers who continue to work together with playgroup workers to provide fun, learning activities for our children each week.  The playgroup centre is used for community development initiatives, intensive family support, crisis intervention, NDIS access, health education and as a place that other services visit and utilise for community consultation.

The supported playgroup programme at Dalaigur Preschool is supported by the Management Committee, CAGES Foundation and staff .  The playgroup is coordinated by the Schools as Community Centres (SACC) facilitator from Kempsey and funding provided by CAGES Foundation enabled SACC to employ 4 Aboriginal parents who support the playgroup with community engagement, food preparation, literacy activities, arts and crafts activities, swimming lessons in Term 4, community events and creative arts therapy with children who have experienced severe trauma.   The Aboriginal women are given opportunities to be trained as Playgroup Assistants, early childhood support workers, community events coordinators, parent workshops, children’s therapy groups as well as school classroom support workers and are employed as casual employees by Schools as Community Centres with Kempsey West Public School and Dept of Education.

Get In Touch

Tel: (02) 9051 2411

Address: 50 Holt Street, Surry Hills. 2010