Trinity Grammar School adopts ‘This Book Changed My Life’

June 5, 2018

More than 40 students and staff members from Trinity Grammar School in Sydney have shared the books that mean the most to them in individual videos to support the Copyright Agency’s This Book Changed My Life social media campaign.

The videos have been compiled by the School’s AV department into a short feature film, which will air on Friday, 1 June as part of the School’s annual Arts Festival, where the new campaign website featuring all videos will be launched.

The This Book Changed My Life campaign asks Australians to upload their own stories and make a pledge to respect creators by agreeing to pay for books and eBooks, attribute creators and ask permission when using material in their own creations.

Copyright Agency CEO Adam Suckling says, “Australian students should be leaving our school system with an understanding of copyright and a real appreciation of the impact of books and reading not only on their own lives, but the wider cultural landscape.

“We are delighted that the students and school community at Trinity Grammar School are embracing this initiative showcasing the positive impact reading has on people, as well developing an understanding of copyright and respect for the creators of these works. By supporting our Australian creators, we are ensuring our cultural community continues to flourish,” adds Mr Suckling.

Teachers, support staff, and students from Years 1 through to 12 participated in the campaign, each creating videos explaining which book changed their life and why. The initiative, led by the Library Services team at Trinity Grammar School has been a positive experience for the students, helping them to better understand the importance of copyright, including correctly crediting creative works.

Some of the books chosen by staff and students include Mem Fox’s Possum Magic, Noel Cathew’s Voices from the Trenches: Letters to Home, John Marsden’s Tomorrow, When the War Began and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mocking Bird. Trinity Grammar School’s Head Master, Mr Tim Bowen, is also behind the campaign, selecting George Orwell’s Animal Farm as the book that changed his life at each new reading – from teenager, to uni student, to mature adult.

Trinity Grammar School’s Teaching and Learning Librarian, Leanne Heanly, says, “Reading books can be so powerful and truly life-changing, and by embracing this campaign, we really hope it develops and continues to develop our students’ love of literature, as well as teaching them academic honesty and the importance of always acknowledging authors.”

Mrs Heanly has been overwhelmed by the positive response from the School and says the initiative will continue throughout the year, with teachers already expressing interest in incorporating the campaign into their classrooms to spark discussions and interest in reading and literature.

“You can’t put a price on the educational value of reading – not only does it develop the students’ literacy skills, it encourages mindfulness and positive wellbeing, skills the students can carry with them for life,” adds Mrs Heanly.

Read our Q&A with Mrs Heanly here.

To find out more about This Book Changed My Life, visit

Back row left to right: Gill Gratton, Teaching and Learning Librarian Junior School; Leanne Heanly, Teaching and Learning Librarian. Front row left to right: William Saunders, Eamon Turner, Kobe Harb. Photo courtesy of Trinity Grammar

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