The past eight years leading YABBA has been a great personal privilege and incredible honour.
In 2013 I became YABBA President with the passing of Graham Davey who left me a huge legacy to build upon. The Council back then, and each since, entrusted me with the leadership of this fantastic organisation.
Throughout my tenure as President, I have worked at moving the organisation forward in delivering our mission of amplifying children’s voice across the Australian literature landscape. Leading YABBA through this time has been an incredible workload, but an enormous reward.
I thank each and every YABBA Council member during the past eight years. YABBA would never have achieved the heights we have without a concerted team effort.
Some of the huge things we did together include:
- Children nominating and voting has increased 10-fold
- We have grown our author and illustrator participation at the Awards Ceremony from 15-20 back in 2012, where today we have 35-45 children’s creators donating their time each ceremony
- We have had to implement strict ticket limits at the Awards Ceremony to ensure we cater to the 20+ schools that come along today
- We conceived, launched and now sustain a Virtual Author Program that brings Australian children’s authors and illustrators to children across the entire school year via our virtual sessions
- YABBA was in a precarious financial position and today we have a strong balance sheet and a pending contract that will secure YABBA’s financial future for many years to come
Today I handover YABBA Leadership to Michelle Nye.
In 2014 Michelle was our Awards Ceremony Host at Hillcrest Christian, this is where I met her for the first time. During that year I asked Michelle to take the Awards Ceremony to a new place – one that set a new benchmark and a legacy for all future ceremony hosts to exceed. Michelle not only accepted the challenge, she delivered on it and more; most importantly she did so with great respect for the YABBA ethos.
I can think of no better person to take on leadership of YABBA and the custodianship of the vision to amplify children’s voices across the Australian Children’s literature sector.
I wish Michelle, the YABBA Council and community the absolute best for the future. What a wonderful organisation.
YABBA President (2013-2020)