National Year of Reading launch

It seems that lately these posts have been catch ups … and this one is no exception.
Last Tuesday was not just Valentine’s Day (and really every day is VD). It was also the launch of 2012 National Year of Reading and as a National Ambassador I felt that it was important that I get to the opening cermeony in Canberra … three + hours and 290 kms (180 miles) away. Luckily the launch was at a decent hour so I didn’t have to zoom off too early from Sydney and luckily it was a relatively smooth drive (nearly three CDs worth) with no major traffic jams, that permitted me to arrive just at the scheduled start time. What I didn’t know was that the Prime Minister of OZ was going to be there so do you think it was an easy route to find a parking spot – not likely! The parking lots and the strets and grassed areas around were packed! Luckily I snaffled a parking spot just a few minutes away. And of course with a PM present there were security guards everywhere.

Still I was inside the National Library (gorgeous place) and seated in the auditorium well before the PM and various minsters made their entrance. It was quite a delightful clebration of reading and books with speaches by the Prime Minister, Simon Crean (Minister for the Arts) and also Peter Garrett (Education Minister). Jennifer Byrne officiated in the most beautiful and eloquant way and William McInnes as Patron presented a hillarious speach. Boori Monty Pryor (one of the National Laureates) had the kids in stitches (snot stories will do that!) and Alison Lester (the other National Laureate) was filmed earlier — she was somewhere down south in the ice flows and couldn’t make it! Heaps of bods filled the auditorium.

Caught up too with a few of the folk from Random and this is the photo that Dot snapped with her iPad (she in turn was photographed taking my photograph but that photo hasn’t been sent to me yet):

had some great chats too down there, including with the lovely Tania McCarthy:

with Boori and Tania

A few more snaps:

the Press and the heavies

Patron William McInnes

The PM

Alison Lester (with eyes closed … sorry Alison)

Minister Garrett – nearly got to chat to him too but a side door beckoned


with Dick Adams (Tasmanian MP) – had a great chat to him
with William … just because everyone else did!

Yeah – in the bookshop

… and then it was an about face and a return trip. Lots of kilometres (miles) driving, lots of CDs listened to in the car (some twice) and totally cactus by the time I got home.

Now for a big year of reading … and hopefully lifelong readers!

Another review by Tania McCartney on her Kids Book Review site.
And more at the official National Year of Reading site.

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