Australian Children’s Laureate program calls for industry support to ‘secure future’
The Australian Children’s Laureate Alliance (ACLA) has launched a fundraising campaign to ‘secure the future of the program’.
‘We need the industry to support the Laureate because the Laureate is all about supporting the children’s book industry—a sector of the industry really punching above its weight—and the importance of reading and buying Australian children’s books,’ chair of ACLA Andrew Wilkins told Books+Publishing.
Wilkins said the laureate program has ‘achieved a level of success in its first three and a half years which could not have been dreamed of’, and is aiming to ‘maintain this momentum’.
The not-for-profit organisation needs to raise $30,000 by the end of the year.
‘We need the money to support the Laureate’s activities and associated costs, which include project management and administration, a modest stipend for the Laureate, and promotional and touring costs,’ said Wilkins. The laureate program is managed by a part-time program manager with the assistance of a voluntary board and state sub-committees.
Wilkins said the laureate program was established with seed funding from the 2012 National Year of Reading, and has since relied on sponsorship, funding from the Australia Council and Copyright Agency Cultural Fund, fundraising events, donations and in-kind support from publishers, educational institutions, libraries and arts organisations.
‘ACLA has received little ongoing funding for its core project management and administration costs. Without the security of such funding, ACLA cannot proceed in its future planning,’ said Wilkins.
Alison Lester and Boori Monty Pryor were named the inaugural Australian Children’s Laureates in 2012-2013, followed by Jackie French in 2014-15. The next laureate will be announced in early 2016.
Australian Children’s Laureates have become national ambassadors for the children’s book industry and participated in numerous events across the country and online.
For more information about ACLA and its fundraising campaign, visit the website here.