Dr Dylan Coleman called upon Australian booksellers to work towards a society where Indigenous and non-Indigenous children sit together reading at the same literacy levels at the ABA ILF presentation, on Monday 17 June.
Coleman, author of the award winning Mazing Grace (UQP), was an inspirational speaker during the ILF session at the 89th Australian Bookseller Association and Leading Edge Booksellers' Conference. The two day conference is the key Australian bookselling event and featured leading authors such as Christos Tsiolkas, Richard Flannagan, Tim Ferguson and James Halliday. It also brought together key Australian publishers including Allen & Unwin, Penguin Australia, Hachette, Scholastic and Pan MacMillan.
During the conference ILF received two very generous donations. There was an audible intake of breath when Chris Harrington from the Victorian Independent Booksellers Network (IBN) announced their donation of $48,000. Formerly the Independent Booksellers Victoria, the IBN closed its offices last year, along with its Charitable Trust. They decided to award all remaining funds to the national book industry charity. Jon Page announced that the Children’s Specialist Booksellers' group raised $3,000 from sales of the book Don’t Leave Childhood Without… this year. More than $25,000 has been raised from sales of this book to-date.
The annual ABA Awards were also announced during the weekend. Louise Fey from Dymocks was named young bookseller of the year and Martin Shaw from Readings won bookseller of the year. Congratulations also go to Lynndy Bennet from Gleebooks who was awarded the Elizabeth Riley Fellowship for Children's Bookselling.
“We consider the work you do as imperative in assisting to closing the gap. ILF helps correct inequity by assisting to remove barriers around cost and accessibility of obtaining books. Catering specifically to Aboriginal people enhances their engagement also.”