We are delighted to announce that Chrissie Swan, one of Australia’s most loved TV personalities, is our National Ambassador for 2015. Chrissie is a radio and TV broadcaster, and is also an author, columnist and fashion label ambassador. She has been an ambassador for CARE Australia since 2010. In 2011, she was a Gold Logie nominee and Silver Logie winner. In 2013, Chrissie launched her own plus-sized fashion range and published her first book, Is It Just Me? Confessions of an Over-Sharer. Her most recent work includes I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here!, a guest spot on the Fox FM breakfast show with Fifi and Dave, and writing for the Herald Sun Magazine. Her next project is The Great Australian Spelling Bee, which she will be co-hosting with Grant Denyer. A very warm welcome to Chrissie Swan from The Reading Hour team!
William McInnes – National Ambassador
We are delighted to announce that our friend, leading Australian actor and writer, William McInnes – who is also a champion of books – is our new National Ambassador for The Reading Hour in 2014! William is one of Australia's most popular writers. He's written five books, with another one on the way later this year. In 2011, with his wife Sarah Watt he co-wrote Worse Things Happen at Sea, which was named the best non-fiction title in the ABIA and the Indie Awards in 2012. Also an award-winning actor, William has won two Logies and an AFI Award for Best Actor for his role in the film Unfinished Sky. He received critical and public acclaim for his leading role in the film Look Both Ways, written and directed by Sarah Watt, and most recently starred in the ABC television series The Time of Our Lives and Hello Birdie.
Andy Griffiths – National Ambassador
I am thrilled to be an Ambassador for The Reading Hour 2013, as it's through books that we can ignite the imagination and spark a love of reading in children everywhere. As a children's author, I have met so many kids from all walks of life - from remote indigenous communities to city kids, from literary festivals to school auditoriums across the country and each and every time someone in the audience will ask me where my ideas come from. All ideas are found just by looking at the world around us, and the ability to turn small observations into words, into stories, is something every child can be taught. The Reading Hour aims to encourage a love of stories and promote literacy across Australia and I'm very proud to again be a part of this initiative.
Tim Ferguson is a widely acclaimed comedian, writer and producer who has toured the world for many years performing stand-up and musical comedy, co-writing dozens of live stage comedy shows, and writing and producing sitcoms. A published author of two bestselling titles – political satire Left, Right and Centre and comedy manual The Cheeky Monkey – Tim is also Australia’s foremost teacher of screen comedy, currently lecturing in screenwriting and concept development at RMIT University, Melbourne and touring his sell-out stage show Carry a Big Stick, which humorously addresses his ongoing battle with Multiple Sclerosis. Tim was famously a member of comedy trio Doug Anthony Allstars and his other credits include The Big Gig, Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush, Big Brother Insider, The Circle, Can of Worms and Good News Week among many others. As a writer, reader and comedian Tim has spent his life telling stories and teaching others the art of storytelling. He believes strongly in the importance of reading, making him a great ambassador for The Reading Hour and Love2Read.
Ros Moriarty - National Ambassador
I am excited to be an ambassador for The Reading Hour 2013, the same year our business, The Jumbana Group, is celebrating 30 years of operations. I was fortunate my childhood was full of books, and gave me the lifelong joy of reading. I'd love every child to know the magic of escaping into the world of stories. Alongside my writing for both adults and children, I've had the chance to establish Indi Kindi, an Indigenous pre-literacy program for babies to pre-schoolers in very remote, disadvantaged communities. The project includes a 5000 title 'library without walls', stocked through donor generosity, and distributed daily from the Indi Kindi 4-wheel drive troop carrier by local mums in the pilot community of Borroloola NT. Indi Kindi enables parents and families to share books and foster a love of reading amongst their own children in very remote Australia. Many Indi Kindi households have never before had a book at home, and one family has built a bookcase - the first in the town camps. Sharing a book is a simple and powerful gift.
Wendy Orr – National Ambassador
I’m an author, but I could never have started writing books if I hadn’t loved reading them first. Reading isn’t just one of my favourite things to do; it’s one of the most important things in my life. I can’t imagine a world in which I couldn’t read, every day. That’s why I always read to my children every day, just as my parents used to read to me. Stories can be exciting, sad, funny, scary or comforting, but the most amazing thing about them is that they take us into new worlds and teach us something more about ourselves, all at the same time. Quite simply, reading to your child is one of the greatest gifts you can give them. I'm proud to be able to celebrate that by joining in this year's Reading Hour.
Tristan Bancks – National Ambassador
Tristan Bancks is a children’s and teen author with a background in acting and filmmaking. His books include My Life & Other Stuff I Made Up (book two out 2014), Mac Slater Coolhunter (Australia & US), Galactic Adventures First Kids in Space and the Nit Boy series (about a kid with the worst case of nits in world history). Tristan's Young Adult novel, it's yr life (Random House) was co-written via email between Byron Bay and L.A. with actress / author, Tempany Deckert. His short films as writer and director have won a number of awards and have screened widely in festivals and on TV. He is currently working on a crime novel for teens and the follow-up to My Life & Other Stuff I Made Up. Tristan is excited by the future of storytelling and inspiring others to create. Check out Story Scrapbook, his free multimedia story brainstorming app at www.tristanbancks.com
Catryna Bilyk, Senator – National Ambassador
After being a National Ambassador for the National Year of Reading 2012, I am pleased to support the Love2Read Campaign and the Reading Hour in 2013. These campaigns are a great way to encourage reading by people of all ages. To be able to function effectively in society we need to develop the crucial skill of being able to read. Reading enables us to be able to tell the time, follow directions, and fill out forms as well as to read the newspaper or a novel. With the advent of the internet more and more reading is required daily. It is vital to encourage children to read from a young age. While reading forms part of our everyday life at work or school and enhances our understanding of the world, reading can also be a source of enjoyment. I do a lot of reading in my role as a Senator for Tasmania but also enjoy reading for relaxation. Unfortunately, I do not get as much time for leisure reading as I would like due to my busy work schedule, but I still try to read as often as I can. I am looking forward to sharing my love of reading with others this year including with my great nephews and children at local schools and childcare centres. I will take part in the Reading Hour on 24 August 2013 and encourage everyone to participate. It is a great opportunity to share the joys of reading with your family and friends.
Peter Carnavas – National Ambassador
The Reading Hour is a wonderful way to get everybody reading, one of life’s most important and fulfilling skills. Reading for just 10 minutes a day with children gives them such a good start for their life in literacy but also provides a great opportunity for bonding. There’s nothing quite like sharing a beautiful book with the important little people in our lives. The Reading Hour reminds us to just forget everything else for a moment and lose ourselves in a book every day.
Chris Cheng – National Ambassador
Grab a book, whether it has pages printed on paper that you turn and bend with licked fingers, or whether they are the flickable pages on the iPad, and go and read. Read in the backyard, or under the covers. Read in the bedroom, or the bathroom in fact any room! Read inside or out. but most importantly place a book into a child's hands. Show them how to read and show them that reading is fun and spark that lifelong love of the word! And with a book you are never lonely or bored with nothing to do! And the Reading Hour is just the place to begin! The Reading hour every day - now that's a fine idea!
Daniel and William Clarke – National Ambassadors
“We think The Reading Hour is a great initiative to help kids around Australia to become better readers. Our hope is that The Reading Hour will help inspire kids to pick up a book and see how much fun reading can be. We hope to continue to inspire kids to read and to reach all corners of Australia with our message. With our school talks, about saving the critically endangered orangutans and the reason why we wrote our book, 'Tears in the jungle', we hope to inspire more kids to read, to share a book and share ideas. When we share ideas we become more creative and gain a love of learning through reading.”
Libby Gleeson – National Ambassador
Being a reader means you're never bored or lonely. Books take you everywhere and anywhere. They fill your head with ideas and your heart with emotions. You will discover many things that can lead you to all kinds of interests or simply make you feel good. Let the reading hour start you off on this great adventure.
Frances Watts – National Ambassador
I was lucky to be born into a book-loving family; books have always been a part of my life. (Well, really, they are more like an obsession!) But I wouldn’t be a reader today, and I certainly wouldn’t be a writer, if I hadn’t been introduced to many wonderful books as a child. With every book we put in a child’s hands, we have the chance to awaken in that child a lifelong love of reading. And what better time to connect with books than in The Reading Hour? It’s a privilege to be part of such a great initiative.
Giggly Kids – State Ambassadors
Giggly Kids Kate Jarvis and David Bailiht are proud to carry on the honour of being reading ambassadors to promote the Reading Hour for 2013. Dave and Kate were involved in turning three books into theatrical productions in 2012. Two Australian childrens classics, Edward the Emu and Edwina the Emu by Shena Knowles and Rod Clament was performed at theatres, schools, child care centres and kindies. Giggly Kids, with help from nine Adelaide Symphony Orchestra players brought the books to life with music, storytelling and two amazing emu puppets. Dave and Kate were also involved in remounting and developing a Windmill Theatre production CAT from the book CAT by Mike Dumbleton and Craig Smith. CAT toured to Singapore in November and December with sell out crowds. In 2013 Giggly Kids are publishing a picture book from one of their original songs. We are hoping to encourage children to read and sing-a-long making reading even more fun than it already is. Giggly Kids will again be visiting libraries around Australia to help promote literacy for young people and the Reading Hour.