Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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Becker to leave ABA

The Australian Booksellers Association (ABA) has announced that CEO Joel Becker will step down from the position at the end of 2018.

Becker has served as CEO for eight years, during which time he has lobbied for booksellers on issues such as GST on inbound goods, parallel importation restrictions, speed to market initiatives, the UPU postal convention, and the entry of Amazon into Australia.

ABA president Tim White said Becker had served the ABA ‘exceptionally well for the past eight years providing stability, support and leadership to Australian booksellers during a time of great industry change’.

‘Joel has also been instrumental in improving both national and international industry relations ensuring that the ABA has been has part of the debate about the future of our industry with our industry partners and colleagues,’ said White. ‘He has also ensured the development of our industry and the growth of bookselling with public campaigns including Love Your Bookshop Day.’

Becker said that after his 46 years in the book community he was ‘looking forward to the next chapter of my life’.

‘Books and the cultural activity that surrounds them are in my blood, so I’ll be attending a few more festivals and may even do a bit of writing myself,’ said Becker. ‘I’ll finally find the time to read that increasingly epic pile of unread books sitting on my bedside table and packed into bookcases. I will also be hacking around golf courses and visiting a few places on my bucket list with my family and friends … At the same time, I’d like to do some volunteering—perhaps on a couple of cultural boards; clearly my retirement is going to be very busy.’

‘I’ve had the privilege of working within a community of booksellers, writers, publishers, artists, support organisations, cultural public servants and highly engaged politicians. I have learned so much from them, made many lifelong friends, and have hopefully contributed a little bit back,’ said Becker, who also highlighted the ABA management committees and the contributions of his colleagues.

The ABA management committee says it has begun the recruitment process and will be seeking expressions of interest in July/August. Anyone interested in the role should contact Tim White (



Category: Local news