Laureate 2012-2013 Boori Monty Pryor
I was thrilled to be the Australian Children’s Laureate with Alison.
I loved our partnership as our work complimented each other really well. We have different approaches to storytelling, art and movement - that made us great together. I felt like the role didn’t fit me – I was probably stunned that I was chosen as Laureate. I still can’t believe the feeling of surprise today! I never took the role for granted; it was such a huge honour, really cool. Hopefully there are a few more children who enjoy creating for the love of it.
“I was stunned that I was chosen as Laureate.”
Much-loved children’s authors Alison Lester and Boori Monty Pryor were Australia’s first Children’s Laureates. They were appointed together to start off the first Laureate program because of their shared creative spirit.
'They are both inspiring, creative and passionate," explained Illustrator Ann James, former ACLF Board member.
Boori Monty Pryor is an Indigenous man descended from the Birri-gubba and the Yarrabah nations of Queensland. He is highly respected and acclaimed as a performer of dance, music and storytelling, Boori has worked in film, television, music and sport.
Boori's Laureate Focus:
Bringing everyone into the circle of story.
Boori shared his own curiosity and imagination as Laureate to encourage children to become storytellers.
‘We need curious children and to have curious children we need children who are not only able to read but children who WANT to read.’
Boori enjoyed telling stories to so many people as he travelled around Australia, especially those stories he learnt as a young Indigenous boy in North Queensland. He was often seen dancing and shaking a leg, like you can read about in his ‘Shake a Leg’ book.
“The future of Australia lies in imagination. To have a creative economy we need curious children and to have curious children we need children who are not only able to read, but children who WANT to read.
To build a culture of reading we need a nation of story-tellers.”
For 40 years Boori has been an indefatigable and inspiring promoter of Indigenous culture in our country. His collaborations in children’s publishing have resulted in awarded books including Maybe Tomorrow, The Bina Binna Man and My Girragungi with Meme McDonald; and Shake a Leg with Jan Ormerod.