Five new reasons to pick up a book for Australian Reading Hour

Celebrate Australian Reading Hour on Thursday 19 September 2019 and visit

Our five special edition Children’s Author Ambassador books are on sale across the country today ($2.99).

This year our two Ambassadors Rachael Johns and Benjamin Law are joined by five children’s Author Ambassadors Mick Elliott, Anthony Field, Karen Manbulloo, Sally Rippin and Matt Stanton who have each written a special edition book to celebrate the joy of reading. Karen Manbulloo’s Moli det bigibigi (Molly the Pig) is a bilingual book written in English and Kriol, a first language spoken in northern Australia.

Did you know that reading a bedtime story six days a week can put kids almost a year ahead when they start school?*

Studies also show that reading contributes to healthy brain development in children and in adults, reading a gripping novel causes positive biological changes in the brain that can last for days.

These are just some of the reasons to take time out and read on your own or with the children in your life on Australian Reading Hour, any time on Thursday 19 September. The project has been assisted by the Australian Government Department of Communications and the Arts, the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund and Australia Post.

There are more than 240 events set to take place across the nation in local bookshops, schools, shopping centres and libraries.

Find an event near you on the interactive map. Meet authors, gather for a silent reading party, read in your favourite café, on the commute or enjoy an extra- long bedtime story with the children in your life. And, of course, for those who like to borrow as well as buy their books, Australia’s 1600 public libraries provide something for every taste.

Chair of the Australian Reading Hour cross-industry committee, Hachette Australia’s CEO Louise Sherwin-Stark says, “Last year we trended on Twitter for six hours, but this campaign is much bigger and better with new partners and sponsors like Australia Post, NSW Education and the Indigenous Literacy Foundation coming on board. Some highlights from this year’s campaign include Noni Hazlehurst reading the new book from Leigh Hobbs for Story Box Library a week before publication, there will be free access to Reading Eggs over the Reading Hour period, Story Dogs literary charity will be with Matt Stanton at the Sydney Opera House with over 100 school children and broadcast live into schools across Australia, Mick Elliott and Oliver Phommavahn in the Ultimate Storytelling Battle at Floriade in Canberra, Anthony Field at The Sydney Children’s Hospital, Karen Manbulloo in La Perouse for two events. We are also giving away 2000 books on buses in Brisbane through Translink.

To further promote the benefits of reading, we launched the Australian Reading Challenge - a fun, interactive platform where readers have been selecting their reading goal, tracking their progress and completing weekly challenges with 500 books read so far and counting!

The official launch at Parliament House with Ambassadors Sally Rippin and Mick Elliott on 17 September 2019 will also announce the book chosen for the inaugural Parliamentary Book Club as voted by members of the public.


We invite you to get involved and join in the fun and make a pledge to read for one hour on Thursday 19 September at

Reignite your reading habit.



1.Kalb and J.C. van Ours (2012), Reading to young children: a head-start in life, University of Melbourne

2.Centre on the Developing Child (2009). Five Numbers to Remember About Early Childhood Development

3.S. Berns, Kristina Blaine, Michael J. Prietula, and Brandon E. Pye. (2013) Brain Connectivity Journal


Editors Notes:

Background of Australian Reading Hour:

Australian Reading Hour is an extension of ALIA’s Reading Hour event, which ran annually from 2012 to 2016 in public and school libraries and is a cross industry promotion of Australian writers and books.

  • Learn about the events near you.
  • Check out the special edition Kids' Readers.
  • Download assets to help share the message of the value of reading.
  • Hear why reading matters to the seven campaign Ambassadors.


Media Contact:  Jackie Evans M: 0407 776 222



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Wednesday 11 September 2019 11:00am