National Year of Reading 2012

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Ambassadors & Friends

Love2Read is pleased to have the support of so many wonderful ambassadors and friends who believe in the importance of reading.

Our ambassadors and friends are all doing amazing things in the reading and literacy fields so please take time to visit their websites below and see what they are up to.

Chrissie Swan

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

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.

Alison Lester – National Ambassador

I'm very honoured to be a Love2Read ambassador for 2013. Being able to read really well is like having a gold pass to the world. You can go anywhere, see anything and make your own mind up about things. Let’s get more kids reading!

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. 

Robyn Archer – National Ambassador

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

Graeme Base – National Ambassador

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.”

Hazel Edwards – National Ambassador

Sharing e- Reading.  For those (grand) parents working away from family, why not share an e-book online or via a reading on Skype during The Reading Hour. I'll be sharing the picture book ap  'Feymouse' with my 3 year old grandson.

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.

Anne-Marie Schwirtlich – National Ambassador

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.

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We are pleased to have the support of so many wonderful Friends for The Reading Hour.

Clancy Tucker

It's a pleasure to be associated with the Love2Read Reading Hour Campaign 2013 ... and why not? Books are cool. They take you away to awesome places. Watching a movie is easy. It's all there in front of you - no imagination required. However, it is my job as a writer to conjure up the same feelings and sensations in a reader's mind. That's the bit I love - climbing into my character's head, and relaying their feelings to the reader. I enjoy writing for reluctant readers; kids I classify as 'cotton wool' kids and 'struggling' kids. It's a great challenge, and I think it makes me a better writer. However, I have also enjoyed success as a poet and photographer. I've lived in four countries, speak three languages and have enjoyed a very interesting life. So, turn the tellie off, grab a good book and relax ... you never know where you might end up

Daniella Brodsky

Deby Adair

During the 2012 National Year of Reading I was invited to speak in schools and to take part in the National Simultaneous Story-time, and I couldn’t wait to participate in all of these wonderful events. I met fantastic teachers who were dedicated to teaching our children - of not only the necessity of reading - but the wonders of it. And I met many, many amazing and enthusiastic children with such a will to learn! This year, I can’t wait to be involved in The Reading Hour. We need to ensure that our future generations are all equipped with literacy for life… reading is the single most all-encompassing act that we participate in every single day and no one should be without it. Thank you, Love2Read!

Fleur McDonald

George Ivanoff

Reading is such an important part of my life. I read for pleasure. I read for research. I read to my children. Every day! An hour a week is not enough for me... I need more! But in today’s busy world, reading often falls by the wayside for many people. That’s why The Reading Hour program is so important. Sometimes, people need reminding about what’s important in life

Helene Young

The Reading Hour is a great opportunity to engage more children and their parents in reading and story-telling, both of which are such integral building blocks for literacy

Jenn J McLeod

Why am I here, supporting a reading initiative? Because I wish I had started reading much earlier in life. (Maybe then I might have been published much earlier in life, before may hair turned grey, my face wrinkled and my bones started to ache!) At least reading and writing makes me feel young. Living in regional NSW, in a cozy corner of the mid north, my contemporary Australian fiction invites readers to ... Come home to the country ...

Josephine and Goggles

Judith O’Malley-Ford, Dr

What a great idea to extend the Year of Reading to the goal of Love2Read everyday. It's like Happy Hour for book worms any time of the day. Intellectual mind food. All day for some people. Noses down, books open, images, imaginings and imaginations off to the four corners of the earth and beyond. What lies beyond is always a challenge for the mind to conquer. It means different things to different people. It's a never-ending a new frontier, and always only as far away as your fingertips.  It's hard copy - and these new fandangle electronic versions. A new adventure every day, or a new learning challenge every day. I set myself a target to learn something new every day, at least that's the intention. Some days are learning holidays and that's ok too. Well, you have to stop sometime and smell the roses.

Juliet Sampson

I am happy to support The Reading Hour. Reading is a daily part of life and children need to develop the basic skills to read. As well as being an author I am a primary teacher and have always loved reading stories myself and to children. As adults we can share our interest in reading and introduce children to the wonderful world of books, providing them with the opportunity to become good readers. Sharing books with children for just 10 minutes a day (which is the aim of the Reading Hour) is a delightful activity, so let the reading begin!

Kate Russo

Kate Russo grew up on a sugar cane farm in North Queensland. From an early age she interacted with the world through her love of books, which fuelled her imagination and left her with a desire to experience life to the full. After completing two university degrees, she left Australia in 1997 and has continued to live abroad.  Kate is a Clinical Psychologist, and an Academic, where she trains psychologists and publishes widely in academic and scientific journals. She is also an Eclipse Chaser, and now a popular science Author having just published her first book about her passion for eclipse chasing. Kate fully supports The Reading Hour: “Books inspire creativity and confidence in young people. Reading also helps to develop valuable life skills, such as focused attention, curiosity, imagination, abstract thinking, problem solving and delayed gratification, as well as improving your memory. Reading is not only fun - it is good for you.

Kathy Parra

I am honoured to be connected with The Reading Hour! My passion for reading as many here came with my family's love to read, especially my mother who would pull out the Funk and Wagnall's Encyclopedias to reference when I had a question. I began writing/storytelling/reading my own stories when I was four years old and have carried this passion along my path into motherhood with my own children who as I write this very minute are yes reading! reading shares with all of us a unique way of "being" in that moment while we soak in the nectar of what one has written and this is a gift to each and every one of us each time we pick up a book, hold it in our hands and lay our eyes upon the words that will ultimately become one with that which we read. Reading to me is like music, once the tune of the words stream off the page and into your heart, you are forever changed in that moment and perhaps for a lifetime. Let us read to ourselves and our children for here lies a new page just waiting to unfurl!...Kathy lives in Mesa, Arizona and has written for various publications, most recently she is the author of a children’s nature book Love is the Color of a Rainbow.

Ken Hall

Reading, what would I do to be able to READ. At the age of 8 I died in the children's ward of the Royal Brisbane hospital and some how God was not ready for me so I returned to this exquisite world that we all live in. It is full of colour and views that are stunning on the eye sight and the characters you met. The only trouble for me was when I died I lost the part of my brain that allows me to read & write. I’m lucky that all I learnt before the age of 8 has stayed with me and my memory is 100% - what I see I remember, so over the years computers have made it easy for me to put down on paper the things I have seen in my life time and turn them into stories for all to READ or listen to on CD and yes the computer helped me write this short statement. I fully support the Love2Read Reading Hour campaign for all children. Those who can’t read I also support talking CD books. For me as a writer I love how I can take the readers or CD listeners through doors of wonder and see the surprise on their faces as they have been drawn into the characters of the stories.

Kirsty Murray

Liz Deep-Jones

I’m thrilled to continue to share my love of storytelling through the Love2Read campaign 2013. As an author of the Lucy Zeezou,series, TV journalist and producer I’m passionate about exploring ideas, interviewing people from all walks of life and tapping into my imagination to create stories to share with readers and viewers. I also love visiting students in school with the aim of inspiring them to create their own stories and express themselves through the magical and wonderful art of storytelling. I’m looking forward to discovering budding authors and sharing exciting stories through the essential Reading Hour Campaign.

Louise Fulton Keats

Mandy Magro

I'm very honoured to be supporting the Love2Read’s Reading Hour campaign leading up to the big day on the 24 August 2013. Reading takes you away from the hustle and bustle of life and especially for children, I feel, this is essential. Books are a wonderful way to open children's minds, and most significantly of all, teach them so many things about life. Reading is such a pleasure and when shared it can create such cherished moments between parents and their children. And in our busy lives, this is so very important

Marjory Gardner

Marjory Gardner is a freelance illustrator of children's books and magazines. Based in Melbourne, she loves visiting schools and libraries all around the country with her folio of books and drawings. "There's nothing like a book; no need to hop on a plane to get to the other end of the world, to another place in time, or maybe even somewhere out of this world! The Reading Hour is such a great way to share all those amazing places."

Maya Ward

Michael Salmon

Great to see all those magnificent Literary initiatives forged last year with our National Year of Reading, continue with such great enthusiasm. They are our business, our love … and our passion ….

Mick Walsh

As the father of three testosterone charged sports mad boys (incidentally, role modelled by me), reading for our sons was a lower than low priority in their lives. So Lyn, my wife, and I to a lesser extent, outsmarted them. As a teacher with regular holidays, we had the opportunity to visit my Mum on the Gold Coast from our base in country Victoria. The boys’ responsibility was to organise every trip, organise our caravan park accommodation (we towed a van), trips to the theme parks and our stops on the journey. These exercises provided the prompts necessary to encourage our sons to start researching and reading on areas which interested them. After this, they read and read and read, so much so, we had to shut down the Reading Hour after two hours! So my point is this, it doesn’t matter what kids read; the key is that they acquire a passion to be exploratory and curious to read and learn about what really interests them. Believe me, it works.

Narrelle Harris

It's so hard to find time for reading in our 24/7 online world, but like anything important, it's rewarding to make the effort. Making time to read - to your family, or for yourself - is a vital part of recharging our imaginations, our connection to the world and our connection to the people who matter most to us. Do one less thing online, do one less chore at home, spend ten minutes less in the office or ten minutes less watching television - and spend those ten minutes a day (or one hour week) sharing something special and building something lasting with someone you love.

Natasha Lester

My kids have grown up surrounded by books and one of our favourite things to do is to snuggle together on the couch and read wonderful stories. Through supporting The Reading Hour, we hope to encourage lots of other families to curl up together and dive into the world of a story - it's a way to spend precious time together, to be peaceful together and to allow your children's imaginations to grow, which is one of the loveliest gifts you can give.

Nerelie Teese

The Reading Hour, whether your family does this as a daily or weekly reading activity, is something to really look forward to. The Reading "Hour" is about so much more than "a book or books". It's irreplaceable time with your family - no matter what their age may be. Read, Share, Connect, Enjoy and LOVE the books that support your togetherness. I'm a proud supporter of the National Reading Hour, I hope you and  your family will be part of it too.

Nicky Johnston

Reading with children and having fun with books are such simple ways to ignite imagination, inspire problem solving and understanding different of points of view. I have four boys and we are all suckers for daily cuddle time and a children’s book. (Especially ones that are boyish and gross) I am excited to be part of the fantastic initiative Love2Read’s Reading Hour Campaign, highlighting lifelong benefits of story time. I am looking forward to being involved with a variety of events and activities this year.

Nicole Alexander

I’m thrilled to be associated with the Love2Read 2013 campaign.. As a rural dweller, championing literacy across rural and regional Australia is very important to me and I had a wonderful time last year visiting many libraries across Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria as a Friend of the National Year of Reading 2012. Here’s to a fabulous initiative and a year of great reading! (Nicole Alexander’s poetry, travel, genealogy and non-fiction articles and novels have been published in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, America and Germany).

Phil Kettle

Rob Towner

Remember the very first time you laid eyes on a book? I sure as hell don’t. There is no way I could have possibly remembered that moment. I was way too young and my tiny brain had not yet developed enough memory cells to recognise basic shapes let alone complex matter. Nevertheless, I do remember reading a Roald Dahl book for the first time. Oh, how I laughed. If I can give just one kid that same memory, I will depart from this life a happy man. TL; DR The Reading Hour is important.

Read the first chapter of Rob Towner’s upcoming book “Animal Friends” which explores the incredibly true story about group of animal friends who united against all odds to change the course of Australian history. Did the Olympics Games, Televisions or Aerosol help or hinder their plans?

Ron and Margaret Sharp

The Reading Hour forms a focus that shines a light on the advantages of reading together: adult and child. Shared reading provides an ideal opportunity to promote special, quality time. Feeling and displaying mutual enjoyment and discovery highlights the joy of reading: benefits that are likely to flow on, enhancing quality of life. We are delighted to add our support to this initiative.

Sally Morgan

Sally Morgan is an internationally recognised author, artist and illustrator who has published books for adults and children. Sally won the Human Rights Award for Literature in 1987 and the Order of Australia Book Prize in 1990. Her most recent books include My Country with her son Ezekiel Kwaymullina but Morgan is best known for her acclaimed biography My Place. Sally is an Ambassador for the Indigenous Literacy Project. "Sharing the wonder of a good  book with your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and family is one of life's great joys. I love to check out from the world with a book, to visit places others have imagined, to share adventure and laughter. A book can take you anywhere and show you anything, that's why they are so amazing."

Sam Sochacka

The Reading Hour is a key national event that brings the importance of families reading to young children to the forefront. There is no doubt that reading to children at bedtime brings numerous social and educational benefits. It also gives parents, caregivers and children a moment to share time that will remain with both reader and ‘readee’ for the remainder of their lives. As an Aspiring Children's Author and English as a Second Language Educator, I recognize and appreciate the educational and social benefits of regular, if not daily, reading to children. As a Children’s Literature Enthusiast and Advocate, I am very excited about supporting The Reading Hour in 2013.

Susan Hall

I am delighted to support Love2Read’s Reading Hour campaign on the 24 August 2013. Through this day-long event the importance of reading to children is highlighted for the whole Australian community. Just 10 minutes out of the busy day can give your child a head start to becoming a good reader, and loving books for their whole life. This can provide not only educational and social benefits but also a livelong passion for and enjoyment of stories - a chance to enter other worlds and experience different cultures, to escape, to dream, to learn.

Tania McCartney

Working in the children’s book industry and frequently visiting schools, it never fails to astound me how life-changing a love of reading can be. Encouraging an attachment to books and stories in the very young is vital not only for literacy skills that enormously enhance everyday living, but for pure pleasure and happiness. Seeing children thrive and find joy through the words and images of a book is a huge personal passion and I’m thrilled to be a friend of The Reading Hour. The Reading Hour is an important reminder that the social and economic benefit of reading is unquestionable. Oh – and it’s also a lot of fun.

Timothy Chan

I’m delighted to support the 2013 Love2Read campaign. If I had to choose three words to describe The Reading Hour on 24 August 2013, they would be exciting, essential and educational. It’s exciting because of the unexpected adventure, and it’s essential because of the need to improve literacy skills throughout the nation. My Love2ReadTV project completed during last year’s National Year of Reading is a useful resource for anyone who wants to watch Australian authors talk about their own experience with the written word. There’s so much inspiration to be gained through reading, and this is why I’m supporting Love2Read 2013. Counting down….three, two, one….let’s read!

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