ILF Founder Suzy Wislon has been honoured as the recipient of the prestigious 2015 Johnno Award by Queensland Writers Centre (QWC). Announced on 10 December, the award is in recognition of the contribution of an exceptional individual or group to Queensland writers and writing.
As owner of Riverbend Bookshop, Suzy has devoted 17 years supporting authors and readers, running an extensive program of book launches, readings, workshops for children and book clubs, as well as the Riverbend Poetry Series. In addition, Suzy was instrumental in establishing the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.
In 2004 Riverbend Suzy launched the Riverbend Readers' Challenge, a fundraising campaign to support literacy in a small number of remote communities in the Katherine region in Northern Territory. In that year students from 112 Queensland schools read over 38,000 books and raised $25,000 to buy books and literacy resources.
In 2005 Wilson lobbied the Australian Book Industry to lend their support and a national advocacy campaign, Indigenous Literacy Day, was launched in partnership with the Fred Hollows Foundation in 2007. In 2011 the FHF lent its support to establish the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. In the lifetime of the Foundation and project, ILF has gifted over 140,000 books, funded and published over 43 community literacy books and trialled an early literacy project called Book Buzz.