Past Award Finalists and Recipients
Australia's Local Hero
National Finalist Australia's Local Hero 2014
Indigenous literacy champion
Disturbed by low rates of literacy among Indigenous Australians, bookstore owner Suzy Wilson organised the first Riverbend Readers’ Challenge in 2004, raising $25,000 for Indigenous literacy projects. Determined to do more, Suzy subsequently established the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, which provides books and literacy resources to more than 200 remote Indigenous communities around Australia. A former teacher, education consultant and university lecturer, Suzy is passionate about literacy, and has become a catalyst for changing children’s lives through literature. In 2013, the foundation raised $740,000, translated dozens of early childhood books into the first languages of Indigenous communities, and supplied 100,000 books to people around Australia. More than 20,000 students now support the foundation through annual Great Book Swaps and other fundraisers. Suzy’s vision for a fair and equal Australia is helping to level the playing field so that our nation’s children have the same opportunities to develop a lifelong love of reading.