Josh Pyke, Justine Clarke, DOBBY and Shelley Ware invite schools to Learn a song: Change the World

Indigenous Literacy Foundation

After an incredibly successful first year, the Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF) are excited to invite primary schools across Australia to register for Busking for Change 2024.

This musical fundraiser was developed by ARIA award-winner and ILF Lifetime Ambassador Josh Pyke. Students learn and perform a song in a First Nations Language and raise funds for the ILF to support more remote Indigenous Communities to access books and have their stories published in languages they speak at home.

Josh Pyke says of the success of 2023, “The kids were so engaged, and the atmosphere was mind blowing. It makes my heart sing when I hear students confidently pumping out words in Kriol, because the students have not only learned a new song, but they’ve also learned words in an Aboriginal Language, a language that is widely spoken in the Northern parts of Australia.”

The 2024 song is Shordi Krik, written in English and Kriol by the students at Barunga Remote Community School and ILF Lifetime Ambassador Justine Clarke.

Justine Clarke says, “The Barunga Community holds a special place in my heart, as does this great song Shordi Krik, published as a beautiful book by the ILF and selected as the Busking for Change song for 2024.

“I have been working with the Barunga school kids since 2017. The students speak, sing and perform in multiple languages, including their common language, Kriol. Shordi Krik is the first original song they’ve written about their unique way of life in their beautiful Community, playing and fishing in the local creek. We want all of Australia to be singing it.”

Last year 84 schools participated in ILF’s inaugural Busking for Change musical fundraiser, raising over $81,000. This year the aim is for 115 schools with a fundraising target of $110,000 for ILF’s Community Publishing program, supporting Communities to write and illustrate more of their own stories in their First Languages.

ILF Ambassador and musician DOBBY says, “I’m a big supporter of the work that ILF does in both strengthening literacy and normalising Indigenous languages in school books. Music is an integral part of our Culture, and so naturally it is a very grounding way to engage and connect with Culture and Country. I’m proud and grateful to be able to use music in this way to learn and engage in Cultural knowledge.”

ILF Ambassador, author and specialist educator Shelley Ware says, “Busking for Change aligns with the National Curriculum – languages, music, art, drama, civic and citizenship, respectful relationships – the list goes on. This is a fantastic opportunity for your school and your classrooms to connect with First Nations culture. Learn a song, change the world!”

The Busking For Change website provides schools with the charts, lyrics, instructional videos and support that allows teachers and students to learn the song in both English and Kriol.Primary schools can sign up now for the fundraiser, which will start nationally in week one of Term 3. It culminates with entire schools, classrooms, groups or individual students performing their final busk on Indigenous Literacy Day, Wednesday 4 September.

All registered schools who raise at least $50 will be sent a Busking for Change book pack with two ILF published bilingual children’s books – including Shordi Krik and Country Tells Us When – to help share the work of the ILF to their school community. There are also prizes for state and independent schools who raise the most funds, a small school prize and a special draw.

Registrations are open now via the website #BuskingForChange #BFC2024

/Public Release.