Reflections from present and past Australian Children’s Laureates

Find out more about the role of the national spokesperson, advocate and ambassador for children/YA literature.

Recently the books industry was agog at the Federal announcement of an upcoming national Poet Laureate, but outside children’s literary circles, not many people know that the Australian Children’s Laureate initiative has existed since 2012, a program that has also been successfully implemented in the UK, Finland, Netherlands, Mexico, Sweden and Wales.

Administered by the Australian Children’s Laureate Foundation (ACLF), it’s a biennial appointment awarded to an Australian author and/or illustrator of children’s and/or youth literature who has made a significant contribution in the realm of reading and literacy for young Australians. Previous Laureates included Ursula Dubosarsky (2020-2021), Morris Gleitzman (2018-2019), Leigh Hobbs (2016-2017), Jackie French (2014-15), Alison Lester and Boori Monty Pryor (2012-13).

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Thuy On is Reviews Editor of ArtsHub and an arts journalist, critic and poet who’s written for a range of publications including The Guardian, The Saturday Paper, Sydney Review of Books, The Australian, The Age/SMH and Australian Book Review. She was the books editor of The Big issue for 8 years. Her first book, a collection of poetry called Turbulence, came out in 2020 and was published by University of Western Australia Press (UWAP). Her next collection, Decadence, was published in July 2022, also by UWAP. Twitter: @thuy_on