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In Conversation, The Australian Children’s Laureates

Last night I had the pleasure in joining Australian Children’s Laureates Jackie French (current) and Alison Lester (2012-2013) in the beautiful Harper Collins offices in Sydney, as they discussed what it means to be the Australian Children’s Laureate.

To Alison, The Laureate is about reaching out to communities that have been left behind. She believes children are always bursting with potential and reading can be the thing that enables them to reach that potential. Alison said that being the Laureate was a privilege and a joy.
Children's Laureate Shelly with Bruce Whatley print
In the Laureate role Jackie has been reaching out to new audiences over the phone, using a speakerphone, as well as using video and radio. She has spoken to over 10,000 children in the last month alone.

Jackie believes Australian literature punches above it weight in quality and innovation. She spoke of ‘Magic books’ as books that turn children into readers. Jackie believes there is a ‘magic book’ out there for every child. It is about teaching children to become great book hunters.  She also spoke of the importance of parents continuing to read to children after the age of six. Once children can read for themselves it is easy to leave it to them. But she believes there is a huge amount of value in continuing to read together beyond six.

Of being the Laureate Jackie says, “It is an extraordinary experience and she is treasuring every single second.”

It was great to see such passion and commitment from both Jackie and Alison. It was also wonderful to walk away with a signed Bruce Whatley print at then end of the silent auction 🙂

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Let the festivities begin

 

Last night was the CBCA (Children’s Book Council of Australia) Christmas party, marking the beginning of the festive season. I am still in denial that this year is drawing to a close, there was so much I wanted to achieve and whilst I have come so close, I’ve not quite nailed it – yet, still 6 weeks to go!

The party, however, was a fantastic way to start the countdown to Christmas. We heard from the inspiring Alison Lester, Australia’s first Children’s Laureate. Alison spoke about the making of her book Sophie Scott Goes South, and how it was written using the experiences she had on a trip to the Antarctic. We got to see some truly amazing photos, and revel in her joy as she shared her experience with us.

Alison Lester CBCA xmas party

Check out her website: http://www.alisonlester.citymax.com/page/page/1781659.htm to read more and to see some of the beautiful artwork she has used for the book.

It was a fantastic evening, and I was lucky enough to sit on a table full of wonderful, enthusiastic and inspiring authors and teacher librarians. I have come away enthused as ever to write, write and write some more.

Thanks you to CBCA for such a fabulous evening!