Literacy and Numeracy support to Rural Remote Australian Indigenous Communities.

Project Report - July 2014

Literacy and Numeracy support to Rural Remote Australian Indigenous Communities


1. Mossman Gorge, North Queensland

2. Tennant Creek, Northern Territory.

Detail Summary

1. Little Masters program at Mossman Gorge.

The Wellbeing Centre at Mossman Gorge has commenced an after school program designed to increase literacy and numeracy and attendance, while promoting a cohesively sound and safe environment that fosters self-efficacy and mastery.
2. Indigenous Reading Book Exchange Library program at Tennant Creek.

Based at and facilitated by the Tennant Creek Primary School this project aims to establish a library of culturally sensitive relevant books available to Indigenous students specifically to take home to share with the family.


Both projects are the result of a growing partnership initially between the E-Club of NextGen and the Flying Doctor Service, Queensland Section which includes work on Flying Doctor Service properties at Mt Isa during October and November 2013 and then April and May 2014.

Volunteers attending the project regularly visited the Rotary Club of Mt Isa over many weeks where further local support issued, friendships flourished and a desire to also share in a partnership for indigenous literacy and numeracy further supported by district foundation grants developed.

Funding Proposal

  • Whereas the E-Club of NextGen is a new club with minimal community funds and the Mt Isa Club is long established with a sound funding base.
  • Proposed the E-Club of NextGen donated $800 of Community Funds and Mt Isa Club donate $2500 of funds.
  • That District 9640 Foundation Committee match the $800.

Detailed Project Description

Advancement of Literacy and Numeracy programs in two regions of Northern Australia, predominately for the advancement of Indigenous education beyond school activities, by provision of resources. Supported by skilled and established centres of learning. Aimed at improving school attendance as well as engaging parents in each program.

Community Assessment and Impact

The Flying Doctor Service, Queensland Section carries out Rural and Remote Clinics throughout Queensland.  They are proactive in most areas of health and education and are in close contact with community needs and facilities.
In this case the Flying Doctor Service recommended the Mossman Gorge project as a well organised, structured and important adjunct of primary care and education.
The Tennant Creek proposal commenced from research of literacy providers. Careful enquiry resulted in detailed conversations with school principals and deputy principals and Rotarians.

Basing the additional facility under the care of the State School system and school administration protects the assets, enhances credibility and provides the opportunity to initiate a pilot project which takes literacy and numeracy via young students into the family environment. In both cases local consensus anticipates that school attendance will be enhanced, a non-school structured learning opportunity created and an enhanced level of personal responsibility for learning materials to be experienced.


The provision of educational resources is known to improve education. The establishment of another aspect of daily learning not directly related to school has the potential to advance both the student and the family members. Success will be self-sustaining as students embrace the opportunity. Being linked to existing educational facilities will support the concept and enable further support to be given to grow the concept.

Implementation Plan & Timetable

Mossman Gorge project. Executed by presentation of the major fund component by senior Flying Doctor Service Officers and Staff. In September Heather and Ian Yarker will attend a subsequent presentation event with local Mossman Rotary Club Members.

Tennant Creek project. Culturally sensitive books selected by Deputy Principal Fiona Mc Lauchlan will be purchased direct from publishers and delivered to the project at a ceremony of the whole Primary School at 10am Tuesday 19th August 2014.

Attendees will include the 39 members of the E-Club of NextGen, Red Centre Tag Along Tour, which includes a majority of Rotarians including 5 Past Governors from 4 Districts. The ceremony will occur when the tour passes through Tennant Creek on August 20, 2014. Members of the Rotary Club of Tennant Creek including the District 9550 Foundation Chairman Greg Marlow will also be present.

In addition the Red Centre Tag Along Tour participants have responded to an invitation to collect appropriate additional books to be identified with a Rotary sticker and donated to the program. It is estimated over 700 books are being donated by this means.

It is expected that this project is the beginning of ongoing joint partnering projects reaching into rural and remote communities who have a well defined need in the area of literacy and numeracy resources.

Club Representatives

Ray Pifer, Foundation Director

Geoff Baldwin, President

Ian and Heather Yarker, Facilitators

Rotary E-Club of NextGen, Queensland, Australia

President Peter Gogsch,

Treasurer Megan Makin,

Rotary Club of Mt Isa.