Stories For Life
Young people need stories more than ever. Stories to delight, stories to beguile, stories to inspire, stories to move deeply. And through these experiences, stories that equip young readers to embrace an often dark and uncertain world with optimism, resolve and creativity.
Stories have always offered these things to our young. Pages alive with girls and boys grappling with big problems and discovering much about themselves and their world, including the huge amount they themselves are capable of.
Rarely has a generation needed these discoveries more urgently. Rarely in our human history have young people had to contemplate a more anxious and angry global nervous system. What a daunting prospect for curious hopeful young Australians.
As their laureate, Iâ€™ll champion stories and everything stories can offer. For many young people my championing will be a celebration of what they already know about stories. For others it will be a call to the page, those who may have been distracted by the glittering surfaces of our market culture and lost sight of what stories can help us achieve.
And Iâ€™ll champion stories to adults. Encourage them to see that kidsâ€™ stories are as important as anything that happens in their corporate and political worlds. Challenge them to look deeply into the stories their own children are reading and to be open to what they find there. Show them how they too might come away from the pages inspired, determined and hopeful. Remind them that reading to and with young people, that simple timeless human gift, is one that just might save our species.
I donâ€™t plan to be a symbolic figurehead laureate. Iâ€™ll be rolling up my sleeves and putting myself about. My words will be heard in classrooms and boardrooms. On airwaves and online. Published not just in my own stories, but in newspapers, magazines, on posters and on social media.
I aim to be not just a laureate, but also an ambassador. An emissary from an undervalued nation. A place where young imaginations draw strength from stories and grow and engage and become our best hope for the future.