As well as having a presence in thousands of schools in Australia, MultiLit has a proud history of working in, and supporting, community initiatives.
The Exodus Foundation and Bill Crews Charitable Trust
1995 – 2017
In a relationship that lasted more than 20 years, MultiLit worked with the Reverend Bill Crews and his two charities to provide intensive literacy intervention programs to disadvantaged students who were low-progress readers. Offering programs in dedicated tutorial centres in Ashfield and Redfern in Sydney and Gladstone, Queensland, and in schools in Western and South-Western Sydney and in Darwin in the Northern Territory, this collaboration saw more than 3,000 students helped to ‘make up lost time in literacy’.
You can read an article by Professor Kevin Wheldall in 2009 about this important work, ‘Effective instruction for socially disadvantaged low-progress readers: The Schoolwise Program‘. In addition, the article ‘Mind the Gap: Effective literacy instruction for Indigenous low-progress readers’ by Wheldall, Beaman (Wheldall), and Langstaff (2012) details our findings that Indigenous students progressed just as rapidly as non-Indigenous students when offered explicit literacy instruction in the context of the Schoolwise Program.
Gladstone Tutorial Centre
2000 – 2001
Inspired by the successes of the Exodus-MultiLit collaboration, a local Gladstone businessman engaged MultiLit to establish a Tutorial Centre in the port town in Central Queensland. This was done over a period of 18 months and the Gladstone Tutorial Centre soon became an integral part of support given to primary students from all the local schools who needed a boost to their literacy skills before heading into high school. The Tutorial Centre continues to operate to this day and has close links with the Bill Crews Charitable Trust.
MultiLit in Cape York Schools
2005 – 2010
As part of Noel Pearson’s Welfare Reform Trial in Cape York, MultiLit provided a range of interventions and programs in four schools in association with Cape York Partnerships, funded by the Commonwealth Government over the years 2008-2010. This followed successful pilot programs that were conducted in the remote community of Coen in the years 2005-2007.
The aim of the project was to ‘bridge the gap’ in Indigenous literacy levels so that Indigenous students were, on average, achieving at, or at least close to, grade level in terms of their reading skills. In addition to providing boosts to the literacy skills of young Indigenous students, important lessons were learned in the implementation of this project. Results and reflections are presented in the 2019 publication, ‘Just teach our kids to read’: Efficacy of intensive reading interventions for both younger and older low-progress readers in schools serving remote Aboriginal communities‘.
Parikrma Humanity Foundation, India
MultiLit worked with the inspiring Parikrma Humanity Foundation in Bangalore, assisting them in providing the MultiLit Reading Tutor Program (RTP) to disadvantaged students in India. This initiative was championed by Jill Hellemans, a Macquarie-trained Special Educator (and now part of the MultiLit team), who provided training to volunteers in the delivery of the program. Jill spent several months in Bangalore to establish and oversee the program which provided intensive tuition to 120 students in the establishment phases of the initiative.
The National Centre for Indigenous Excellence
In late 2011, MultiLit and the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence (NCIE) entered into a Pathway Partnership Agreement with the objective of achieving significant literacy outcomes for young Indigenous Australians. The aims of the partnership were to create a best-practice, innovative literacy program based on research-informed and proven methodologies, evidence-based impact measurement and a sustainable operations model that significantly improved the literacy competency of Indigenous young people. Indigenous high school students from inner-Sydney and Palm Island off the coast of Far North Queensland had their literacy skills assessed and a tailored literacy program delivered online in a pilot program.
Fundraising for the Fred Hollows Foundation – Sydney Coastrek
As part of MultiLit’s 20th anniversary activities and celebrations in 2015, two teams of four MultiLit staff participated in Sydney Coastrek – trekking 55kms along the spectacular northern beaches coastline in one day. The teams raised over $6,000 for the Fred Hollows’ Foundation and had great fun achieving this goal.
'This Time Next Year'
2018 – 2019
In 2018, Channel 9 approached MultiLit to help a Year 5 student from a farm in Victoria reach his goal of becoming a successful reader over the course of a year. Harry made impressive gains and his achievement was celebrated on the television program in 2019. MultiLit provided all of Harry’s tuition online and free of any charge. We were happy to be a part of turning Harry’s life around.
Supporting marginalised youth in the Northern Territory
2020 – ongoing
MultiLit is supporting a MacqLit implementation in a multi-campus flexible learning centre in the Northern Territory that caters predominantly for marginalised Indigenous youth.
Pro bono scholarships for vulnerable students in MultiLit Literacy Centres
MultiLit supports a number of vulnerable students on fee-free scholarships in our MultiLit Literacy Centres. This includes a new perpetual scholarship, the Takayuki Fukuda Scholarship, which is awarded to a deserving child who has a reading deficit as a result of illness or injury. This scholarship was established to honour the memory of a much-loved colleague in MultiLit who lost his life in 2020 following a brief illness.
Supporting individual schools
- Support for an Urban Indigenous School – La Perouse (2013-2015): MultiLit provided complimentary training and materials to support the implementation of intensive literacy support to this majority Indigenous school.
- Supporting MiniLit intervention in Fiji (2016): MultiLit provided MiniLit program materials and training to teachers from remote Fijian communities who were connected with Maitland Christian School.
- Sponsorship for a new not-for-profit secular school (2018): MultiLit supported a major gala fundraising event to raise money for the purchase of land for the Pal Buddhist School in south-western Sydney.