ILF is excited to announce that our Founder, Suzy Wilson was awarded the Lloyd O’Neil Award, which recognises outstanding service to the Australian Book Industry by an individual from within its ranks, including publishers, booksellers, authors and other industry representatives with exceptional long service to the industry. She will be inducted into the ABIA Hall of Fame at the Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIAs) on Thursday, 3 May.
As our Founder, Suzy Wilson launched the Riverbend Readers Challenge in 2004 to raise money to boost literacy levels. The challenge grew, and then teamed up with the Fred Hollows Foundation and the Australian Book Industry to become the Indigenous Literacy Project in 2007. In 2011 it was superseded by the Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF), a national not-for-profit charity focussed on improving literacy levels in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and to date has supplied over 260,000 books to over 280 communities.
Suzy is the owner of Riverbend Books and Teahouse in Brisbane; a former teacher, education consultant and university lecturer; has previously received the Dromkeen Award, has been an ambassador for the National Year of Reading and was the recipient of the 2015 Johnno Award for outstanding contribution to writing in Queensland.
Suzy Wilson will be the 27th recipient of this prestigious Lloyd O’Neil Award. Lloyd O’Neil was a pioneer of Australian publishing, beginning his career as a bookseller and becoming an insightful and talented publisher, printing popular mass market titles that captured the mood of the nation and developing hugely successful educational and travel lists.
Our Patron, Hon. Quentin Bryce AD CVO, who will present the award says, “I am thrilled and delighted to be presenting the Lloyd O’Neil Prize to Ms Suzy Wilson. Across 20 years Suzy has made an inspiring and truly significant contribution to the cultural life of Queensland at her much loved Riverbend Bookshop. It is an honour for me to acknowledge her proudest achievement, establishing and growing the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, to give young Indigenous Australians in remote communities the joy of books and reading, adventures, stories, curiosity, imagination - language, culture, country.”