The Indigenous Literacy Foundation works as an initiative of the Australian Book Industry with the support of:
Organisation and Board Members
The Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF) is an independent charity that works with the support of the Australian Book Industry. It operates under a voluntary board which includes representatives of the Australian Book Industry and the Indigenous community, whose experience spans publishing, education, business, marketing and governance.
In 2016, the Foundation welcomed our new Chair, Patricia Genat and four new Board members James Kellow, Glen Miller, Anna Low and Mark Rubbo who bring exceptional leadership skills and expertise to the Board.
ILF employs five full-time employees who include its Executive Director Karen Williams (who has been with the project since 2005), Tina Raye (Program Manager), Cindy Manfong (Program Co-ordinator), Jane Crowley (Marketing Co-ordinator) and Allison Duggan (Administrator). The foundation draws on regular consultants for its business management and Community Publishing project.
The Foundation is extremely fortunate to have a team of volunteers who provide invaluable expertise and support nationally basis at events, festivals and fundraisers. In its Sydney office, it is supported by Frances Kreamer, our Financial Manager, Peter Kirby and Derek Dryden.
A number of volunteers have played an integral role to our Book Selection committee including: author and ambassador Sally Morgan, Lynndy Bennett, Kaye Richards and Sharnya Raye.
Suzy Wilson, Founder
Suzy Wilson is founder of the Indigenous Literacy Foundation and the owner of Riverbend Books in Bulimba, Brisbane.
Before embarking on her career in the Australian Book Industry Suzy was a teacher, an education consultant with Education Queensland and part-time lecturer at Queensland University of Technology.
In 2010, she was awarded the Dromkeen Award for her efforts in 'being a catalyst in changing children's lives through literature’.
She was honoured as the recipient of the prestigious 2015 Johnno Award by Queensland Writers Centre.
Board of Directors
Patricia Genat, Chair
Patricia was President of the Australian Booksellers Association, Managing Director of ALS Library Services and chair of the Indigenous Literacy Foundation board.
She has over 15 years of management experience within the Australian and New Zealand book industry, including publishing, distribution, online services, and printing.
She has a solid business and educational background, and brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the Board.
For the past 10 years, he has performed several senior executive roles for Pearson in the region – most recently as Vice President Government Relations and Efficacy. He led Pearson's efficacy program in Asia, and was a member of Pearson's Asia Pacific Board from 2010 to 2013. Fraser is a senior graduate from the Australian Institute of Company Directors and works as a Senior Consultant with EduWorld.
He is passionate about the ability of education to have a positive impact on individuals, families and communities. He believes access to education comes through literacy, and that should be every child's right – not a privilege.
She served on the Advisory Committee of the Books in Homes Australia program, was a board member of the Primary English Teaching Association, and a director of the Fred Hollows Foundation.
For more than 10 years, she was President of Wunanbiri Pre-School. Sharon is Deputy Chair of the Aboriginal Education Council (NSW) Inc, a Lecturer and Course Convener of Indigenous Australian Education at the University of Sydney.
James began his career at Reed International Books in the UK. He has since held a number of senior sales and marketing positions with Penguin, Simon & Schuster and Forth Estate.
After moving to Australia with his young family in 2008, he joined HarperCollins. He worked as Commercial Director before becoming CEO of HarperCollins Australian and New Zealand in 2012.
James is member of the the Board of Directors for the Australian Publishers Association and convenor of the Trade Publishers Committee.
Anna Low has been a book seller for more than 20 years. Since 2007, she has been the owner of the Potts Point Bookshop in Sydney which won the 2016 Bookseller of the Year Award.
She is passionate about books and reading, and has been on various industry committees.
These include the Australian Publishing Association Design Awards, the Australian Booksellers Association Kids Reading Guide, and most notably, sat as a judge on the Miles Franklin Award from 2012 to 2014.
Glen Miller is a descendant of the Butchella people of the Fraser coast, which includes Maryborough-Hervey Bay and the Fraser Island region.
For over 20 years, Glen had a diverse career working to help preserve Aboriginal culture, plus working across education, local government and in tourism.
He brings a unique set of management skills and knowledge to the Board. He is an active member of many Aboriginal organisaitons, the Fraser Island World Heritage Indigenous Advisory Committee, the Wondunna Aboriginal Corporation, the Butchella Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation, the Fraser Island Natural Intergrity Alliance and more. He also founded and is President of Butchella Men's Business Aboriginal Association Inc.
Matt Pinchbeck, Director
Matt is a School Executive for the Department of Education and Communities (DEC), and has always been involved in educating children through various roles.
Matt is proud of his Gamilaroi heritage and his family is active in promoting Aboriginal Education and Art.
He is passionate about the Foundation’s mandate of providing Aboriginal children in remote areas equal access to Literacy resources that most Australians have daily access to.
In 2012, Matt was recognised by the Aboriginal Education Consultative Group (AECG) for his contribution to Aboriginal Education.
Mark Rubbo, Managing Director of Readings, has been appointed as a new member of our Board. Mark is a past president of the Australian Booksellers Association and was founding chair of the Melbourne Writers Festival.
He also established the Readings Foundation, which contributes to literacy and cultural projects; and instigated two writing prizes for new writing and children writing.
In 2016, Readings won the International Bookstore of the Year as part of the London Book Fair International Excellence Awards.
Former ILF Directors
Juliet Rogers, Chair
Juliet Rogers is now CEO over the Australian Society of Authors. From 2011 to 2015, she served as Chair on the Board of the ILF.
Shas worked in the publishing industry in both New Zealand and Australia. She worked as a sales representative for William Collins publishers in New Zealand, as Marketing Manager at MacDonald publishers, and as Managing Director of Random House NZ.
Juliet has always been closely involved with book industry issues. She chaired Booksellers New Zealand for a number of years and was President of the Australian Publishers Association for three years. Juliet is passionate about the power of books and recognises the importance of literacy and access to books in creating equal opportunity for all children in Australia.
Nick Bowditch was the Manager of Small Business Australia and New Zealand for Facebook. He joined the ILF Board in 2013. Prior to that, he built up, ran and sold three successful online businesses. He is an author, blogger and keynote speaker. Recently, Nick discovered his Indigenous heritage and is passionate about providing children in remote communities with the same opportunities that kids in the city have.
David Gaunt, Director
For the past 34 years David Gaunt has been the co-owner of Gleebooks, the Sydney based independent bookseller. David has held various roles in industry associations, primarily the Australian Booksellers' Association, of which he is a Life Member, and the Sydney Writers' Festival on whose Board he sat for the first five years of its operation. In 2011, David was awarded the Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia for services to the book industry. David was Chair of the Indigenous Literacy Project from 2007 to 2010
Kristin Gill, Director 2011-2014
Kristin Gill is the General Sales Manager for Children's Books at Penguin Australia. She was involved in the development of the Indigenous Literacy Foundation since its inception and continues to advocate on behalf of the Board, and takes up a special role looking after our ambassadors.
Professor Martin Nakata, Director 2012-2013
Professor Nakata is the Director of Nura Gili, the Indigenous centre at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). Professor Nakata also holds the title of Chair of Australian Indigenous Education and is the first Torres Strait Islander to receive a PhD in Australia.
History of Indigenous Literacy Project
From 2005 to 2010, the Indigenous Literacy Project was run by a small and dedicated committee that provided expertise, resources and management of the project together with part time employees.
Core individuals included:
- Madeleine Bower, ILP Coordinator, The Fred Hollows Foundation (2010)
- Liz Bray, Children’s Book Director, Allen & Unwin
- Ameina Brunker, Indigenous Literacy Project Coordinator, The Fred Hollows Foundation (2009)
- Ros Burton, ILP Administrative Assistant (2010)
- Peter Eichhorn, Director/Financial Consultant, Allen & Unwin
- Christine Farmer, Director, Publicity Harper Collins
- David Gaunt, ILP Chair and proprietor of Gleebooks
- Kristin Gill, General Manager, Education, Sales & Marketing, Penguin Australia
- Nina Murphy, National Fundraising Development Coordinator, The Fred Hollows Foundation
- Brett Osmond, Director Marketing & Publicity, Random House
- Nicola Stewart, Marketing and Fundraising Manager, The Fred Hollows Foundation
- Kate Sunners, ILP Scribe (2010)
- Karen Williams, ILP Manager
- Suzy Wilson, ILP Founder and proprietor of Riverbend Books