Lovely article about Ian Thorpe’s endeavours to improve indigenous literacy in yesterday’s Herald Sun:
A TINY six-seater plane lands on a dusty runway, somewhere east of Katherine in the Northern Territory.
Out leaps swimming superstar Ian Thorpe with a precious cargo – hundreds of books. Every child will go home with a selection of titles including Where The Wild Things Are and Dr Seuss.
“For some of these kids it is the first book that they have seen,” Thorpe said.
The literacy backpack is one of his favourite programs carried out by the Fountain for Youth Foundation – the charity he set up as an 18 year old.
The foundation focuses almost exclusively on closing the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians. Thorpe was shocked by what he saw when he walked into his first remote community six years ago. “Australia has some of the worst poverty in the world. That was the catalyst for my involvement,” he said.
A wonderful program by Ian Thorpe’s Fountain for Youth Foundation.