At the end of 2016

mrchicken_xmasThanks to everyone who has come out to events, and to those who have help present them. The Australian Children’s Literature Alliance is just that – the alliance of organisations working together to promote reading, creativity and books for young people and professionals.

The first year of Leigh Hobbs’s laureateship has been huge. More than 25,000 people have been reached through his activities. Leigh has spoken to 4,490 adults and 22,141 young people. The 2016 highlights reel includes:

  • Appearances in all states and territories except Tasmania and South Australia – those states are confirmed for 2017
  • Presentation to the plenary session at the 2016 IBBY Congress in Auckland New Zealand
  • Key guest at the Out of the Box Festival for the State Library of Queensland
  • A panel with children’s literature expert Julia Eccleshare at the Wheeler Centre As a result of this Leigh will appear at the Hay-on-Wye Festival in May 2017
  • A residency at Purnululu School in remote North-west Western Australia with Ann James, supported by the Association for Independent Schools Western Australia
  • Events for the State Library of Western Australia and the Shakespeare Day for the State Library of New South Wales
  • Laureate events with Libraries ACT: evening talk for Canberra Writers Centre and SCWIBI, workshops for schools at National Library of Australia, community event Woden Library, drawing workshop National Portrait Gallery 28-29 October
  • Children’s Book Council of Australia biennial conference in Sydney, and the CBCA NSW branch annual dinner at the Lady Cutler Award
  • the NSW Public Libraries Association SWITCH conference, supported by Bolinda Publishing
  • ASA Masterclass, Melbourne 10 September
  • Early Childhood Australia national conference Darwin 5–8 October
  • Future Libraries Teacher-Librarian reference group conference, Brisbane 17 October

In addition to all that and more, Leigh Hobbs received a Monash University Distinguished alumni award from the Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design.

Catch Leigh Hobbs and Deborah Abela as guests on the national Summer Reading Club website. The Summer Reading Club meets Leigh’s goals: it’s a national platform, supports libraries, and engages children creatively. The invitation for Leigh to be a guest blogger arose from his time with the State Library of Queensland and the Out of the Box Festival.

In 2017 Leigh will take his special brand of creativity and inspiration even further. Look out Tasmania, regional South Australia, Bologna (Italy), Hong Kong and England. Oh, and Horrible Harriet will be appearing on stage at the Sydney Opera House.

– Mike Shuttleworth, 2016/17 Laureate launch and campaign manager

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