In between the day’s keynote sessions were a variety of panels focussed on Australian Reading Hour, inclusive storytimes, YA publishing and bookselling in
Australia, robotics and coding in Australian libraries, The Victorian Big Summer Read, multilingualism and digitally inclusive services, Greening Libraries, and much more. One of the last sessions of the day, ‘A gift of bibliotherapy for library workers’ had delegates soothed and centred before heading into the final keynote for the event delivered by singer-songwriter and NSS2022 book author Josh Pyke.
Josh spoke about his work with the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, his motivation for writing the book Family Tree, his collaboration with the book’s illustrator Ronojoy Ghosh, and what we can learn from children and their unquestioning acceptance of diverse people and cultures. “The last couple of years has really highlighted the importance and value of community and family, no matter what that family looks like” Josh told us. “When I look at my children, in my mind, I see a map with lines drawn from Vietnam, Britain, America and Denmark, all leading to our home in Australia.”
We were then lucky enough to hear some music with live performances of the hit song ‘The Summer’ and a special audience-participation rendition of ‘Words can make the world go round’, a song penned by Josh, Deborah Cheetham and Justine Clarke, along with a group of students from Sydney's Gawura School, especially for Indigenous Literacy Day in 2016.