Welcome to the blog of the Tasmanian branch of the Children's Book Council of Australia!

Saturday 30 July 2016

Stop Press: CBCA Tasmanian Branch at crossroads

Attention all book lovers – CBCA Tasmanian Branch Inc. needs you!

The Children’s Book Council, Tasmanian branch, has been operating for many years. We have done great things as a branch – organizing author tours, highlighting the Book of the Year Award Shortlist and then the winners, advising on literature for families and the community and collaborating with like-minded organisations to run spectacular events such as Book an Adventure on Bruny Island and the wonderful Year of Celebrating Nan Chauncy in 2015.

Now, like many similar volunteer, not-for-profit organisations, we find ourselves facing the huge challenge of survival. The dedicated, hardworking and capable Executive of Richard Pickup as President, Nella Pickup as Secretary, Helen Rothwell as Vice-President and Patsy Jones as Treasurer need to bow out and get on with their lives. Other members of the Committee, who have given more than 30 years to CBCA Tas. feel the same way. Together, the current Executive members have given over 150 years of service to CBCA!

So, we need you as CBCA Tas. members and supporters to think hard about whether you, or your colleagues or friends, might step up and offer to form the new Executive at the AGM scheduled for 19 November, 2016.

If we are unable to form an incoming Executive in November, CBCA Tasmania will not be able to meet its obligations under the Incorporations Act and the branch will have to be disbanded. We certainly hope that does not come to pass, but branch dissolution is a very real possibility.

To facilitate a discussion about the survival of the Branch, we will hold a Special General Meeting on Saturday 22 October.

Both the AGM and Special General Meeting will be held in Hobart but committee members will look at alternative ways to gather members’ opinions if there is sufficient interest in the north of the state.

What will you lose if CBCA Tasmanian Branch ceases to exist?
  • CBCA is a volunteer-run organisation of teachers, teacher librarians, librarians, authors, illustrators and designers, booksellers, parents and community members advocating for and promoting quality children’s literature.  The organisation is responsible for the prestigious Children’s Book of the Year Awards (BOTYA) which honour the best Australian books for children aged 0-18. Without a state branch, you lose the option of being directly involved with BOTYA developments.
  • Current CBCA Tasmanian Branch members can apply to be a judge for the Children’s Book of the Year awards.
  • The Readers’ Cup which has operated in the north and south of the state, engaging young readers in enthusiastic engagement with quality literature, will no longer be organized by CBCA.
  • Our newsletter which provides regular information on the latest children’s literature, Australian as well as overseas, will cease.
  • Our literary blog focused on children’s literature, published on a weekly basis, will no longer exist.
  • The opportunity to network with authors, illustrators, teachers, librarians, parents and other people interested in children’s literature will be minimised.
  • The ability to purchase discounted merchandise to support the celebration of Book Week will disappear.
  • The opportunity through the CBCA Tas. Board representative to influence directions at the national level will no longer be available.

What do we have to do to remain legal?
  • Fill those four positions.
  • Hold quarterly meetings of the Executive; these can be by teleconference.
  • Manage the finances with due probity and send copies of the annual financial report to Consumer Affairs, Department of Justice.

What would you need to do in one of these positions?
A brief explanation of the roles is attached.  It needs to be downloaded to be viewed.

To decide how we can legally and constitutionally move forward, we need an expression of interest from members willing to take on the crucial Executive positions. Current executive members are prepared to Mentor incoming Executives into their new roles.
So, what can you do at this crisis point?
  • If you're a member, and interested in volunteering, please get in touch.
  • If you know someone who might be interested in volunteering, share this post with them.
  • If you’re not a member but interested? [see http://www.cbcatas.org/membership/ ]
  • PLEASE attend the Special General Meeting on Saturday 22 October (details to be announced) to be involved in discussions about the future of the CBCA Tasmanian Branch (or show your interest by contacting info@cbcatas.org if you cannot attend). 

Current CBCA Executive members continue to ‘toil in the vineyard’ of promoting quality literature for young people. On 7 & 11 September this year, in conjunction with the Tasmanian Writers Centre, and in collaboration with members of the Tasmanian Aboriginal community, we will present two forums titled The Hidden Stories. These will be significant cultural events that celebrate Aboriginal storytelling on this island state and acknowledge the importance of National Indigenous Literacy Day in Tasmania. We have an opportunity for the Hidden Stories events to move to the north of the state in 2017 and NW in 2018, with sponsorship – if CBCA exists, has an Executive and members willing to assist. It would be immensely sad if CBCA has to pull out of these exciting initiatives.
We are genuinely ‘at a crossroads’ – will CBCA Tas. revitalise, thrive and continue to make its mark? Or will it ‘fold its tent and silently steal away? It’s up to you!

If you cannot access the document identifying the role responsibilities and duties of the executive, or want to comment or ask questions, please contact us info@cbcatas.org  and one of the Executive will contact you.


  1. I'm not currently a member, but am happy to join and put forward an expression of interest in the role as treasurer of CBCA Tas. I would also be willing to be Merchandise Manager, unless someone else comes forward for this role.

  2. I would hope to attend the Special General Meeting in October.

  3. Thank you - more details to follow

  4. I was unaware that the CBCA organised the Readers' Cup in the north.

    1. You are correct CBCA does not organise Readers'Cup in the north. The original draft mentioned the southern event only. I missed the change when the blog was edited by my colleagues. The wonderful Anne Donnelly and her ever growing northern schools team organises the junior RC and ASLA the senior event. Apologies for the error.
      Nella Pickup Secretary