Reading is ‘an amazing gift’ say new local literary ambassadors

City of Melville residents Liz Byrski, Ambelin Kwaymullina and Brendan Ritchie are our inaugural Great Big Book Club Tea Party reading ambassadors. The three authors have expressed their excitement about taking on the task of promoting the benefits of reading to local audiences.

‘I’m honoured to be a literary ambassador,’ Byrski said. ‘It gives me the opportunity to talk about books – not just my own, but those of other writers whose work I enjoy, and also to promote new and emerging writers. I think it’s very rewarding to talk about books and reading and to try to encourage people to read more.’

Ambelin Kwaymullina said she’d like to use her position as ambassador to promote the opportunities for readers to access the diverse stories of the local Whadjuk Noongar Country. ‘Some of these stories can be respectfully experienced in City of Melville spaces – for example, Wireless Hill, where Noongar culture and history is inscribed onto plaques. In 2017, the City of Melville became the first Western Australian local government to release a Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan, continuing its journey towards a more just Australia where all stories are heard equally, and all stories have an equal opportunity to be heard.’

Ritchie, who is known for his young adult titles, advocated reading local authors, especially for younger audiences because ‘it’s important that young people feel represented within the literature they read. A part of that is occasionally finding a book that is set in a world they know.’  ‘Being a literary ambassador is a chance to reflect upon, and articulate, how important literature is in our lives,’ he said.

Research has shown that reading is 300% more effective than going for a walk in reducing stress, and fosters empathy and compassion among different groups of people. The ambassadors were keen to promote the work of fellow local authors and highlight the vibrant and diverse local literary culture available to Western Australian audiences.

Byrski, Ritchie and Kwaymullina will also appear at the Great Big Book Club Tea Party to be hosted at the newly refurbished AH Bracks Library on 21 October 2018. The event aims to bring readers together in the biggest book club event of the year to discuss local titles and give readers a chance to meet the authors. The event ambassadors will be joined by authors Carrie Cox, Steve Hawke, Rafeif Ishmail, Ambelin Kwaymullina, Susan Midalia, Jodie Moffat and David Whish-Wilson.

You can register your interest to attend the event on Eventbrite.

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