Morris Gleitzman spoke about his passion to expand opportunities for young people to ‘experience the magic of reading’ when the State Library of New South Wales hosted the official launch of the Australian Children's Laureate.
Ron Gorman, the chair of the ACLA board, offered an acknowledgement of country and introduced the evening’s speakers.
Dr John Vallance, the recently appointed State Librarian, celebrated Morris’ appointment in a lively speech to the invited audience. Dr Vallance shared two favourite pictures from the Library’s collection: both relate to the emotional and developmental role reading plays in the lives of young people – and has done for centuries.
In celebrating Morris’s appointment, the patron of ACLA Noni Hazlehurst delivered an impassioned plea to push back against the digital tide. Noni pointed to reports on the decline of the time spent by adults reading to young children.
Jenny Brockie, the distinguished journalist who is a 40-year friend of Morris, presented Morris with the magpie statuette as a symbol of the Australian Children’s Laureate.