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Global acclaim: The Indigenous Literacy Foundation is presented with the world’s largest award for children’s literature

Indigenous Literacy Foundation 2 mins read
ILF Co-Chair Natalie Ahmat, ILF Founder Suzy Wilson & ILF CEO Ben Bowen accept the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award 2024 from Sweden's Crown Princess Victoria, right. Background: Host of the evening, actress Marie Agerhu00e4ll. Credit: Elliot Elliot

The Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF) received the world’s largest literature award for children’s and young adult literature, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA), at a ceremony in the Stockholm Concert Hall on Tuesday, June 4. The award was presented by Sweden’s H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria. With a prize of five million Swedish kronor (AUD$720,000), it is the largest award of its kind.

In his acceptance speech, ILF CEO Ben Bowen said:  “We believe in the fundamental human right that is learning to read and write and that right should extend to Indigenous languages. If we lose these languages the cost is incomprehensible through the loss of culture, identity, wisdom, knowledges and expertise we all require to build tomorrow's world.”

In her congratulatory speech, Swedish Minister for Culture, Parisa Liljestrand said: “The Indigenous Literacy Foundation's innovative and creative activities serve as a beacon of inspiration – and indeed, of hope. Everyone, regardless of background and individual circumstances, must be given the opportunity to develop good reading skills and to have access to high-quality literature.”         

The jury’s motivation for awarding the Indigenous Literacy Foundation was: "With curiosity and respect, Indigenous Literacy Foundation works with reading and storytelling among First Nations children in Australia. In close collaboration with Communities, they highlight the value of all people’s own languages and stories. By spreading books and stimulating reading, storytelling and creativity, Indigenous Literacy Foundation builds the desire to read and fosters pride, self-confidence and a sense of belonging. Every child has the right to their language and their stories.”

The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award was created in 2002 by the Swedish government to promote every child’s right to great stories. This global award is given annually to a person or organisation for their outstanding contribution to children’s and young adult literature. With a prize of five million Swedish kronor, it is the largest award of its kind. Administrated by the Swedish Arts Council.

Q&A with ILF CEO Ben Bowen: “Books should be a fundamental human right”

Link to ALMA Award brochure




About us:

The Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF) is an Australian national charity working with remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities across Australia. They are Community led, responding to requests from remote Communities for culturally relevant books, including early learning board books, resources, and programs to support Communities to create and publish their stories in languages of their choice.    

Contact details:

Jackie Evans ILF Publicist

M: 0407 776 222 or



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