New Arrivals Project
In 2010, The New Arrivals project launched in partnership with Kraft Foods to support culturally and linguistically diverse families settling in Australia. In consultation with the early childhood sector, RLA identified that refugee families and their young children were not fully supported with age appropriate reading materials in multilingual formats. Lack of resources reduced their ability to share stories with their children in the familial home language and affected the way they engaged with their young children in activities such as reading, talking, playing and singing.
The project provided a free reading and activity pack for every family with a young child that entered Australia as part of the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Citizenship Humanitarian Program.
A key resource in the packs was a multilingual picture book called Wilbur, which was translated into twelve different languages, with English as the common language throughout. The Wilbur series remains extremely popular today and has been further developed to include audio readings and video readings on YouTube.
Emerging Indigenous Writer & Illustrator Project
In 2011, the organisation received 3 year funding from the Australia Council for the Arts to manage the Emerging Indigenous Writer & Illustrator Project in partnership with Allen and Unwin. The main objectives of the project were to create professional development opportunities for emerging Indigenous children’s authors and illustrators, provide appropriate and enjoyable books for young children and increase the availability of books by Indigenous authors and illustrators.
Six Indigenous artists including Leann J Edwards (VIC), Rhoda Lalara (NT), Alfred Lalara (NT), Paul Seden (NT), Marika Williams (SA) and Karen Briggs (SA) were mentored by industry professionals and had their first picture book published by Allen & Unwin in 2014.