Second milestone for adult literacy training
- Last updated:
- 6 September 2022 12:34PM
- First published:
- 6 September 2022 12:31PM
A small group of Yarrabah residents and their families recently celebrated their achievements at a graduation ceremony of the Yes, I Can! Aboriginal Adult Literacy program.
Yes, I Can! is a pilot program which teaches adult learners to read and write. It is delivered in Yarrabah by the Literacy for Life Foundation and identifies increased literacy levels as key in empowering Indigenous Australians and ‘closing the gap’.
Twelve students graduated at the ceremony; the second group of students to graduate since the program began in Yarrabah in 2021. The Yes, I Can! program is delivered through the Yo, si puedo! or Yes, I Can! teaching method which originated in Cuba.
Graduate Aaron Elliot says that he didn’t get to finish school, so he really appreciated the opportunity the program gave him, including the inspiration to write poetry.
“I am glad this course is here,” Aaron says. “I’ve done it to refresh my memory. It gave me the inspiration to write my poems, do computer courses, and upgrade my skills.
Aaron says he hopes to be an inspiration for his siblings and children through his learning efforts.
“My brothers and sisters, they are younger than me – I’m the eldest of my family. I’m trying to be an inspiration to them, you know. For my children too.”
“This course gave me a chance to talk about culture, about life, about everything. I’m one voice that is participating but I’m also encouraging them other mob too.”
Coordinator of the program Nadine Cannon says that pride is an important cultural value for First Nations peoples, so she was thrilled to see the students graduate from the program.
“The respect shown between the students and the Literacy for Life Yarrabah staff creates a ripple effect through the community. The course enables the students to gain confidence to go on to apply for work, other studies, or just feel pride in themselves and what they can achieve,” Nadine says.
The pilot is funded through the Queensland Government’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Housing Action Plan 2019-2023 as the ability to read forms and understand your rights and responsibilities are the foundation for a stable tenancy.