Libraries Without Borders and the Australian public library network have implemented the Ideas Box in the Torres Strait in order to enable access to education and information for underserved Aboriginal communities.


When compared with mainstream Australia, many aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities are very remote and often have limited access to services, opportunities, and facilities considered standard for much of the country. These two groups represent 2.5% of the population, and have historically been targeted by discrimination and attempts to assimilate the groups into mainstream culture. These interferences have not benefited the populations: 30% of Aboriginal adults lack basic literacy skills, and in 2009, the gap in the unemployment rate between aboriginal and non-aboriginals in Australia was 12.6%. Furthermore, the groups are facing a threat of losing cultural diversity. Only 60 of the once 250 plus linguistic traditions remain alive today.

Our approach

For over a decade, Australian State libraries have developed community programs to support and evaluate literacy, and strengthen cultural programs in partnership with local councils and Aboriginal communities of the Torres Strait Islands. LWB supports these efforts by offering libraries with tools that allow them to reach out and get closer to these communities. As a result, we contribute to improving education and to developing cultural and intergenerational exchange of Aboriginal and Islander communities.

More about our actions in Australia

An Ideas Box for Australian Aboriginal communities in Mapoon (Queensland)


Popular education & acces to culture

Start date





In partnership with the Queensland State Library, Libraries Without Borders has implemented an Ideas Box in the community of Mapoon (Queensland), located more than 1,000 km from the closest urban center. Perviously, librarians had to reach the community by airplane. The Ideas Box is set up in the village’s community center.


  • Enable access to the Ideas Box for local non-profits working with the community (Mapoon school, « my Pathway », the rangers…)
  • Allow local youth to learn in a secure space.
  • Serve as a place where locals can meet, socialize and exchange between generations.
  • Strengthen the Australian library network.


  • Academic support for students
  • Film showings
  • Creative workshops
  • « Mums & Bubs », popular activity allowing mothers and their children to exchange among themselves.


  • The children, youth, parents and the entire community of Mapoon (around 300 people)


Executive partners

Financial partners

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