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Remote NT students to teach Jess Mauboy how to sing in their language for Sydney Opera House audience

Emma Ruben -

Indigenous students will beam live into the Sydney Opera House to teach pop superstar Jessica Mauboy how to sing in their language this September.

This digital event is one of two events arranged by the Indigenous Literacy Foundation and Sydney Opera House program to celebrate First Nations stories and language on Indigenous Literacy Day.

Featuring ambassadors from all over the country, the virtual event will showcase a digital story told through students in remote Australia as part of the Opera House's Digital Creative Learning program.

Ms Mauboy said stories had always held a deep importance to her and her music.

"As a child growing up in Darwin, stories were told through music and song and others in books or through works of art," she said.

"These stories have shaped how I view the world and have hugely influenced my life as a songwriter and performer.

"I'm deeply passionate about supporting the work of the ILF and am honoured to be a part of a special day that celebrates and shares how stories and languages are joyfully shared in song."

The digital story event will feature a group of students in Milikapiti and Jilkminggan in the Northern Territory who will video call in to the event in Sydney.

With help from their teachers, the students' performance will share a look of their lives in remote NT.

They will share their language through song by teaching Mauboy live how to sing one of their favourite songs in Tiwi and Mangarrayi.

ILF ambassador Mr Dreise will then perform the song in Gamilaraay Yuwaalaraay.

The physical event will see ambassadors such as Jessica Mauboy, Gregg Dreise, Justine Clarke, Josh Pyke and co-patron Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social justice commissioner, June Oscar in attendance.

Ms Oscar said Indigenous Literacy Day acknowledged the longevity of Indigenous languages.

"Indigenous Literacy Day...is an acknowledgement that this country has many languages before English was brought to the country," she said.

"Languages are entwined with cultures and the work the ILF does to support the publishing of stories in First Languages helps keep our culture alive.

"When our children see books in their language is strengthens their identity and keeps language strong in communities across the Country."

The Indigenous Literacy Day event will take place on September 7.

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