Prolific author Professor Anita Heiss has promoted Indigenous language and literacy in many and diverse ways – but her latest venture is particularly novel.
The University of Queensland academic and proud Wiradjuri woman has been helping create original lanyard designs based on the cover of her new novel Tiddas in preparation for virtual Indigenous Literacy Day tomorrow.
The idea originated with Skye Anderton, the Brisbane-based creator and owner of Ruby Olive Jewellery & Accessories, who pledged $10 for each lanyard sold to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.
Professor Heiss said the foundation donated engaging and culturally relevant books to schools, libraries, playgroups, women’s centres, youth centres and other service organisations.
“It’s a fabulous philanthropic initiative – it provides books and literacy programs to remote communities and promotes early literacy with a focus on first language,” she said.
“It also publishes books written by Indigenous people, for Indigenous people.”
Each lanyard has a quality, leather-trimmed clasp and available in coral pink, purple or blue.
The three lanyard designs Professor Heiss worked on all featured jacarandas, based on the book cover.
“This motif makes them perfect for UQ’s community and I hope we can all support this amazing initiative,” she said.
Ms Anderton said a core value of her business was supporting community through its ‘Charity By Design’ products.
“When we started supporting Indigenous Literary Foundation last year, we learnt what a huge difference the organisation makes to Indigenous families,” she said.
“It was obvious this was an organisation we had to get behind.
“We are so proud to work with Anita to support them and we’re equally excited to have the opportunity to promote the foundation’s amazing work.”
Pre-orders open today (Tuesday, 1 September) and the lanyards will be gift-boxed and shipped the following week.
Also today, the South Australian Neporendi Aboriginal Forum and Onkaparinga Libraries will host an online talk by Professor Heiss, who will discuss her children’s novels, her work with the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, and how everyone can celebrate Indigenous Literacy Day and help close the literacy gap.
Tomorrow, Professor Heiss will co-host the Indigenous Literacy Day live event with NITV News presenter Natalie Ahmat.
As a Lifetime Indigenous Literary Foundation ambassador, Professor Heiss has been promoting literacy during the past month, including an Aboriginal Children’s Day story time event and a literature-themed takeover of the Business Chicks Instagram account.
Image (above): The lanyards come in three colours
Contact: Professor Anita Heiss, email@example.com, ph 0414 467 849; Marc Barnbaum, ATSIS communications, ph 0407 863 376, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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