Tell your pollie what book to read

Tell your pollie what book to read

Australians are being invited to nominate a book they believe Parliamentarians should read as part of a new book club for the nation’s leaders at Parliament House.

Nominations are being accepted by your local federal members’ offices or Senate representative. Books nominated must be written by Australian authors and published in the country within the last five years.

Aussies are encouraged to nominate a book which has inspired them, or that reveals an aspect of Australian life that is worthwhile of the attention of our politicians, to spark discussion.

The Parliamentary Book Club will invite all Parliamentarians to read the book selected, meet the author, and engage in a dialogue about its themes at Parliament House.

The inaugural book picked for Parliamentary Book Club will be announced on 17 September at the Parliamentary Friends of Australian Books and Writers event.

Joint Co-Chair of the Friends Group Senator Hollie Hughes says, “We are thrilled to announce the establishment of the Inaugural Parliamentary Book Club. This is a collaborative, and bi-partisan initiative that we hope will bring together book lovers of all stripes in Parliament.”

“I am looking forward to being entertained, challenged and informed by whatever book is selected. I am interested to know what Australians are reading – and what they think is important for their Parliamentary representatives to be engaged by. In Parliament, political dialogue needs depth. This is one small way we get to deepen our appreciation, and learn from, our great Australian writers,” Ms Hughes has shared.

Co-Chair Graham Perrett MP says, “As a former English teacher I know first hand how important reading is to developing minds. But reading and engaging deeply with others – either in the form of narrative or ideas – is important at all stages of life and learning, and

certainly just as important in Parliament. This is an opportunity for the public to say to their MP or Senator – Read this. This has something important to say to you as a representative of the Australian public.

Send Australian authored book nominations (published within the last five years) to your local member or senator. Find your MP or Senator via the Australian Parliament House website. Nominations close 30 August 2019.


To share this information on social media, please read here for more information.

Supported by the Books Create Australia partners: ALIA, ABA, APA and ASA.

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New Friend for Books in Parliament

New friend for books in Parliament 

Minister Reynolds CSC, in having been elevated to the Cabinet position of Minister for Defence, has resigned from her role as Co-Chair of  Parliamentary Friends of Australian Books and Writers (PFABW). The APA is truly grateful for her time in supporting the Australian book industry within Parliament, alongside continuing co-chair Graham Perrett MP.

Filling Senator Reynolds’ place is NSW Liberal Senator Hollie Hughes and we welcome her to the PFABW position. Senator Hughes has a focus on representing regional and rural concerns. She is a founder of the Country Autism Network which aims to support families in rural NSW with family members diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Her maiden speech in Parliament is scheduled for the late afternoon of Tuesday 30 July 2019.

Senator Hughes says, “I am thrilled to be taking on the role of co-chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Australian Books and Writers for the 46th Parliament. Books are an important part of Australia’s culture and heritage. The Australian book industry is a vibrant and successful creative industry. I am looking forward to engaging with our fine Australian writers, publishers, librarians, and booksellers and highlighting the value of their work to my fellow parliamentarians.”

The next Parliamentary Friends event will be held on 17 September in Parliament House. The event will launch of Australian Reading Hour which will be held on 19 September.

A Reading Nation Is A Better Nation

The Parliamentary Friends of Australian Books and Writers heard last Tuesday 12 February a personal and passionate speech from HarperCollins author and journalist Trent Dalton about the power of books and the difference reading had made to his own life.

Thirty Parliamentarians and their staff listened to how for Dalton and his brothers, books and libraries had been a refuge from a tough childhood and a path to a better life.

At the same event, Books Create Australia – the book industry partnership of authors, booksellers, librarians and publishers – presented a vision for Australian publishing: “A Reading Nation is a Better Nation”. With a somewhat playful air, Dalton said anyone who didn’t support the idea of Australia as a reading nation should contact him directly.

Co-chairs of the Parliamentary Friends, Assistant Minister for Home Affairs Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC and Labor’s Graham Perrett MP, enthusiastically supported the idea of a fresh joint vision for a reading nation created by the whole industry.

The plan has goals for literacy, culture and the economy, developing a National Early Literacy Framework, promoting reading and Australian books, and investing in innovative supply chain solutions.

Books Create Australia CEOs: Juliet Rogers of the Australian Society of Authors, Robbie Egan of the Booksellers Association, Sue McKerracher from Australian Information and Libraries Association (ALIA) and Michael Gordon-Smith from the APA, thanked the co-chairs for their support.

Linda Reynolds and Graham Perrett have been crucial in establishing the non-partisan group and we’re very grateful for their solid supporters of the book industry.

Afterwards Trent Dalton told Twitter he was, “deeply proud to live in a place where busy politicians from all sides come together and celebrate books and reading.”

The next event will be held on 17 September 2019. Despite the Federal election before that in May, both co-chairs expressed their keenness to remain involved with the group.

The Australian Society of Authors penned a humorous poem read aloud for the co-chairs, which you can read here.

Parliamentary attendees (and their staff) included:

If your local member is here, tell them you welcome their support for books and writers.

  • Senator Linda Reynolds, Western Australia
  • Graham Perrett MP, Member for Moreton
  • Senator Lisa Singh, Tasmania
  • Marian Joseph, Office of Cathy McGowan
  • Brett Maryniak, Office of Brian Mitchell MP
  • Kathryn Newett, Office of Senator Carol Brown
  • Luke Heffernan, Office of Michelle Rowland MP
  • Sussan Ley MP, Member for Farrer
  • Susan Lamb MP, Member for Longman
  • Senator Catryna Bilyk, Tasmania
  • Terri Butler MP, Member for Griffith
  • Joel Fitzgibbon MP, Member for Hunter
  • Bryan Mitchell, Member for Lyons
  • Meryl Swanson MP, Member for Peterson
  • Senator Arthur Sinodinos, New South Wales
  • Kevin Andrews MP, Member for Menzies
  • Maria Moscaritolo​​​​​​​, Office of Stirling Griffith
  • Senator Don Farrell, South Australia
  • Susan Templeman MP, Member for Macquarie
  • Rebekha Sharkie MP, Member for Mayo
  • Rob Mitchell MP, Member for McEwen
  • Senator David Smith, ACT
  • Patrick Gorman MP, Member for Perth
  • Dylan Caporn​​​​​​​, Office of Patrick Gorman
  • Senator Helen Polley, Tasmania
  • Senator Wendy Askew, Tasmania