Alison Lester – Australian Children’s Laureate

‘This is My Place’ Book Making Workshops with Alison Lester, Tjitjiku Inma Project (South Australia), May 5th – 9th
Inaugural Children’s Laureate Alison Lester has been invited by Carclew Youth Arts (Aboriginal Arts Development) and the Anangu Education Services and Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Education Committee to conduct book making workshops on the APY Lands as part of theTjitjiku Inma Project.
The aim the Tjitji Tjuta Inmaku Pakantjaku project is to promote the continued transmission of Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara language (an endangered Australian language) to children, in which elders and parents pass on children’s inma (stories sung and danced) aged 1-12 years.
Travelling with Alison to the APY Lands will be Lee-Ann Tjunypa Buckskin Manager, Aboriginal Arts Development, and Joyce Louey, Manager, Community, for Carclew Youth Arts, Adelaide. Lee-Ann says: “It’s very exciting to have someone with Alison’s reputation join us on such an important and significant project. Alison will deliver book making workshops to young Anangu school students in remote South Australia at Ernabella and Kenmore Park Anangu Schools as part of the Tjitjiku Inma Language Project which has been funded by the Federal Government”.
Directors Makinti Minutjukur and Katrina Tjiljari from Anangu Education Services (AES & PYEC) are also thrilled that someone of Alison Lester’s calibre wants to share her talent and skills with the APY community.
Alison Lester: “I am really looking forward to travelling to the APY lands next week to work with children and adults at Kenmore Park and Ernabella. It’s going to be wonderful to hear everybody’s stories and make some art together. I’m sure there will be a lot for me to learn and I can’t wait to see the red dirt of central Australia again.”
To maximise Alison’s time on the APY Lands the team have planned a lively, interactive and powerful series of workshops based around Alison’s ‘This is My Place’ Laureate project which will also draw upon her book-making expertise. By taking quality art materials and a printer with them on tour Alison and the team will make books written and illustrated by the children in Kenmore Park Anangu School, Ernabella Anangu School and the Anangu Education staff.

The Tjitji Tjuta Inmaku Pakantjaku project
The Tjitji Tjuta Inmaku Pakantjaku project uses ancient cultural practices and traditions through oral storytelling and generational family stories, Inma (performance), imagery and designs on the body to engage and interact with children, young people, young parents, elders and the wider community.
The aim the Tjitji Tjuta Inmaku Pakantjaku project is to promote the continued transmission of Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara language (an endangered Australian language) to children, in which elders and parents pass on children’s inma (stories sung and danced) aged 1-12 years.  The stories will be shared, developed and used as resource and teaching tool by all Anangu in the eleven APY Lands communities in the far North West of South Australia as well as the Oak Valley and Yalata communities on Maralinga Tjarutja Lands in the South of the state. This project is driven and implemented by the community for the community.
About the Australian Children’s Laureates
The Australian Children’s Laureate is an initiative developed by the Australian Children’s Literature Alliance, and began in 2012. The role of the Laureate is to promote the importance and transformational power of reading, creativity and story in the lives of young Australians.
As the Australian Children’s Laureates for 2012 and 2013, Alison Lester and Boori Monty Pryor are national and international ambassadors for Australian children’s literature, inspiring young people to tell their own stories and be part of an active literary culture for enjoyment, wellbeing and success in life. The Laureates represent all children of Australia embracing their multi-cultural society.
To find out more about what the Laureates will be doing, and how to get involved with Laureate projects, please visit

Alison Lester is one of Australia’s most popular authors. She has written and illustrated over 25 picture books, and her first fiction title, The Quicksand Pony, quickly became a bestseller. Her books are published in many languages and are loved by children around the world. Alison’s sure sense of colour and design, her humour, and her keen observation of the details of children’s lives make her books lasting favourites.
Over her twenty-one year career she has produced such classics as the Clive Eats Alligatorsseries, Magic Beach, Imagine and My Farm. Her picture book, Are We There Yet? won the CBCA Picture Book of the Year Award in 2005 (and was chosen as the focus book for the National Year of Reading 2012), and Running with the Horses was an Honour Book in the 2010 CBCA Book of the Year Awards and 2010 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. Her most recent titles include Noni the PonyOnce Small Island (created in collaboration with Coral Tulloch) andSophie Scott Goes South, inspired by her travels to Antarctica and the Kids Antarctic Art ProjectSophie Scott Goes South was recently awarded the prestigious White Raven Status at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair and is on the 2013 CBCA Book of the Year Short List.
Alison believes children need adventures and the freedom to imagine. She has always been a bookworm and often reads for hours in the middle of the night. ‘I love the way books take you to another world, no matter what’s going on in your life.’
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