About the ACLF

Morris Gleitzman, Australian Children's Laureate 2018–2019

The Australian Children’s Laureate is an initiative developed by the Australian Children’s Laureate Foundation (ACLF).

The Laureate's role is to promote the importance of reading, creativity and story in the lives of young Australians.

Author Morris Gleitzman is the 2018–2019 Australian Children's Laureate.

Previous laureates have been:

On this page you can find out more about the ACLF.

About the Australian Children’s Laureate Initiative

The establishment of an Australian Children’s Laureate to promote the importance of reading is based on the successful implementation of this idea in the UK and US. There are now also Children's Laureate programs in: Finland, Holland, Ireland, Mexico, Sweden and Wales.

The Children’s Laureate will be an Australian author and/or illustrator of children’s and/or youth literature, who is making a significant contribution to the children’s literature canon of this country. The Laureate is appointed on a biennial basis and will promote the transformational power of reading, creativity and story in the lives of young Australians, while acting as a national and international ambassador for Australian children’s literature.

About the Australian Children’s Laureate Foundation

The Australian Children’s Laureate Foundation (ACLF)  is  a not-for-profit organisation founded in 2008 as the Australian Children's Literature Alliance (ACLA). It champions and promotes the transformational power of reading in the lives of young Australians.

The ACLF is a collegial and inclusive organisation with representation from across the field of children's and young adult literature. In 2018 the ACLF changed its name from the ACLA to clarify the focus of its work.

In 2014 The ACLF secured DGR status.

The ACLF's vision is to enrich the lives of young Australians through the power of story. 

The ACLF’s mission is to:

  • to promote the value and importance of reading
  • to raise the profile of books in the lives of Australian children and young adults
  • to respond to identified needs and issues in the Childrens' & Youth Literature national landscape
  • to champion the cause of Young Australians' reading in a consultative, collegial and inclusive way within a cultural framework that showcases the best of Australian Literature for young people
  • to undertake selected national projects that will promote these objects nationally

The ACLF’s primary activity is the development and management of the Australian Children’s Laureate program.

How is the Laureate selected?

The 2018-19 Children's Laureate was selected by the Board of ACLF, representing industry leaders from many aspects of the children’s book industry, including literature development, education, writing and illustration. The ACLF board received recommendations from the following 24 organisations:

  • Australian Society of Authors
  • Australian Booksellers Association
  • Australian Library and Information Association
  • Australian Association for the Teaching of English
  • Australian Literacy Educators Association
  • Book Links QLD
  • Centre for Youth Literature, State Library Victoria
  • Children’s Book Council of Australia
  • Copyright Agency
  • Early Childhood Teachers Association
  • First Nations Australia Writers Network
  • IBBY Australia
  • National Library of Australia
  • Libraries ACT
  • State Library New South Wales
  • State Library South Australia
  • State Library Western Australia
  • State Library Queensland
  • LINC Tasmania
  • Northern Territory Library
  • Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators
  • Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, WA
  • The Literature Centre, Fremantle
  • WestWords, NSW

What are the criteria for selecting the Australian Children's Laureate?

The following criteria are considered when selecting the Australian Children's Laureate:

  • Has been published by an Australian publisher
  • Is an Australian citizen and resident in Australia for the term of office
  • Has made a significant contribution to Australian children’s and/or youth literature, with recognised stature, a positive public profile and the respect of their peers
  • Has proven ability to relate to and communicate well with children
  • Is an articulate media communicator
  • Is willing to promote the transformational power, value and importance of reading and the importance of children’s and youth literature in Australia’s literary culture
  • Is willing to visit each state and territory at least once during the intended two (2) year term
  • Agrees to work in consultation with the ACLF Board in their program/project development

The Children’s Laureate is defined as an Honour.