Honour roll

The Honour Roll recognises past State and
Territory and National Award recipients

Local Hero


2013 NSW Local Hero Nominee

Sarah Garnett

Town: Newport
State: New South Wales

Footpath librarian

Sarah Garnett is the founder of the Benjamin Andrew Footpath Library named after a young friend. It all began nine years ago when Sarah was volunteering with a food van in Woolloomooloo and saw a homeless man reading a novel under a streetlight. She started bringing books for him to read, and before long was setting up books on the pavement for other homeless people. Over time it became the library with a board of six, 15 managers and scores of volunteers. Supported by donations from publishers and business, the library now hands out 2,500 new and second-hand books each month. It also supplies books to women’s refuges, homeless hostels, community organisations and prisons. Convinced that homeless people need more than food and shelter, Sarah’s wish is to have a Footpath Library in every capital city. Her passion for her cause and empathy for the disadvantaged has changed people’s attitudes, creating tolerance and greater understanding. Sarah still finds time to return to the city every Tuesday night to talk and share tea and coffee with the Footpath Library patrons who are now old friends.