The aboriginal communities of the Torres Strait Islands make up 2.5% of the population of Australia. Their history is marked by discrimination and attempts at forced integration into mainstream culture. Today, these communities still have limited access to what are considered normal services and opportunities.. As a result, 30% of Aboriginal adults are illiterate.. These communities are also more affected by unemployment. In addition, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are facing a loss of cultural diversity, including the disappearance of linguistic traditions.
For many years, in partnership with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community councils, Australian state libraries have been developing community-based programs to support and assess literacy and to strengthen cultural programs.
Since 2015, LWB has been supporting these efforts by providing libraries with tools to reach these communities. Two Ideas Box kit programs are established in the country thanks to the partnership among LWB, the Queensland and Western Australia State Libraries, and local councils. In this way, LWB is helping to improve education and develop cultural and intergenerational exchanges in Aboriginal and island communities. The two Ideas Box kits support literacy activities and reinforce the community’s ability to transmit its cultural heritage. They are popular with children during extracurricular time, especially the board games, tablets, and film screenings.