10 years of Reading Australia: Anniversary year in review
December 15, 2023
Each year the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund allocates around $100,000 to the Reading Australia initiative, which supports the teaching and reading of Australian literature in schools. Originally launched in 2013, Reading Australia celebrated its 10th anniversary this year with more than 280 freely available teaching resources from Foundation to Senior Secondary. Reading Australia now has more than 25,000 total subscribers, and its reach and impact continues to grow.
To mark its first decade in operation, the Reading Australia team collaborated with industry friends on key events and partnership opportunities throughout the year. At the annual AATE/ALEA National Conference in July, Nicola Evans (Head of the Cultural Fund and Reading Australia) and Jenny Ryan (Reading Australia Editor and Digital Publisher) hosted a panel about the importance of teaching and reading diverse Australian stories. They were joined by Wiradjuri/Welsh educator Cara Shipp and 2022 Reading Australia Fellow Jantiena Batt, and supported by additional comments from Ballardong Noongar writer and educator Casey Mulder; Warumungu Luritja lecturer and researcher Tracy Woodroffe; and 2020 Reading Australia Fellow Karen Yager. The panel recording and presentation slides are available on demand here.
Also at the AATE/ALEA conference, Nicola Evans awarded the fifth Reading Australia Fellowship for Teachers of English and Literacy and Teacher Librarians to Bridget Forster (Head of Kerferd Library and VCE Literature Teacher at Mentone Girls’ Grammar School). The Fellowship provides $15,000 to a leading English and/or literacy teacher or teacher librarian to undertake a career-enhancing research project. Bridget’s project, which focuses on using AI generated texts in the English classroom to interrogate the notion of an Australian literary voice, is well underway. Catch up on the full story here.
Reading Australia’s Jenny Ryan also spoke to Cara Shipp about the power and pleasure of First Nations literature for the July instalment of the 2023 Literature Symposium. Their conversation can be watched back here.
In addition to Canberra, the Reading Australia team met many teachers and teacher librarians at conferences in Newcastle and Melbourne. They are also working on some exciting new partnerships for 2024, including the creation of SCIS records with Education Services Australia. Further updates will be shared in the new year.
Thank you to everyone who helped celebrate 10 years of Reading Australia in 2023. The team will be back in January with the first resources for 2024 and look forward to working with more teachers and teacher librarians for many years to come.