In 2008, The Australia Children’s Literature Alliance was formed as an independent and not-for-profit organisation that champions and promotes “the transformational power of reading in the lives of young Australians.” The ACLA is inclusive, representing the spectrum of the field of children’s and young adult literature. The vision and mission of the ACLA is:
ACLA’s vision is to: enrich the lives of young Australians through the power of story.
ACLA’s mission is to:
Promote the value, importance and transformational nature of reading
Influence the reading habits of Australian families
Raise the profile of books in the lives of children and young adults
Champion the cause of young Australians reading.
The organisation’s primary activity is developing and managing the Australian Children’s Laureate Program, established based on the successful implementation of similar programs in the UK, the US, with programs in Finland, Holland, Ireland, Mexico, Sweden and Wales as well.
The Children’s Laureate is an Australian author or illustrator of books for children and/or young adults, and in particular, someone who has made a significant contribution to the canon of Australian Children’s Literature and is appointed on a biennial basis. The inaugural year, 2012-2013 – was shared by two well-loved authors, Alison Lester and Boori Monty Pryor.
In 2014-2015, Jackie French took the mantle. She has authored over 140 books, including The Matilda Saga and the iconic Diary of a Wombat.
Leigh Hobbs held the mantle for 2016-2017.
And the Australian Children’s Laureate for 2018-1019 is Morris Gleitzman. The theme for his term is Stories Make Us – Stories Create Our Future. Morris has written celebrated books for the youth market for over thirty years including Two Weeks With the Queen, and the Felix Series, stating with Once.
In a world where our attention is divided by many different means of technology, it is comforting to know that there are those passionate about championing books for children, and showing the power of books to teach, to heal, to help us understand the world around us. Keep an eye on the included links for more information on what Morris gets up to this year.
More information about the role and how it is selected can be found here:
Further links and interviews: