Devonport's Year of Literacy

Published on 06 October 2016


The Devonport Building Families Special Interest Group has declared 2016/2017 the ‘Year of Literacy’ for Devonport.

“Learning to read is a precursor to formal learning.  If we don’t learn to read, we never get the opportunity of reading to learn” said Building Families Special Interest Group member, Jenny Mountney of the initiative.

“If this vital opportunity is missed our children will struggle in the school environment, becoming disengaged and potentially resulting in negative classroom behavior, low school attendance and the risk of not completing their formal school education”. 

“The long term implication for these children is limited employment opportunities, income and potential social exclusion and poverty”.

“The Year of Literacy is a way of embedding a culture of reading and learning within the Devonport community, and hopefully improving our community’s social and economic prospects” said Mrs Mountney.

Following a successful visit to Devonport earlier in the year, Australian children’s author Mem Fox has agreed to be Literacy Ambassador for the Devonport ‘Year of Literacy’.

“I am thrilled to be involved in helping the Devonport community and Devonport families strengthen their literacy and connect with each other through books and reading” said Mem Fox.

The national launch of Mem’s new book ‘Duck Away’ will be held at the Devonport Entertainment and Convention Centre on Tuesday, 1 November.

Mem will also headline a ‘Building Better Families’ Conference for early childhood professionals and educators in Devonport in March 2017; as well as provide monthly motivators to be shared with the Devonport community.

“It’s so important to read to and with our young people.  The difference it can make to their early development and future potential cannot be understated” said Mem.

“I’m excited by what Devonport is doing and the impact this initiative will have for the community; not just in terms of literacy, but social and economically too”.


Council Contact: Karina Moore, Media & Communication Officer - 03 6424 0562 / 0407 506 840 /


Mem Fox - Duck Away National Book Launch

Devonport Entertainment & Convention Centre, Tuesday, 1 November, 7-10pm. A great event for adults interested in childhood reading. A witting and engaging conversation with author Mem Fox and illustrator Judy Horacek of Ducks Away, about the collaboration process and all that is required to create acclaimed and wondrous children’s picture books.

Building Better Families Summit/Conference - for Tasmanian Early Childhood Educators

Saturday, 11 March 2017 at the Devonport Entertainment & Convention Centre.Keynote speakers: Mem Fox, Steve Biddulph and Maggie Dent

A ‘train the trainer’ event to help early childhood educators in Tasmania strengthen family literacy and family connections within their communities.

Rock n Rhyme/Story Time

Every Tuesday, 10-11am at Devonport LINC – an interactive story time session for parents and carers with babies.

Kids Book Café

Every Tuesday, 3.30-4.30pm at Devonport LINC – free café for children in grades 2-6. The book café encourages children to meet with friends, make new ones and share what they are reading with others.

Young Writers Workshop

Fortnightly Wednesdays, 3.30-4.30pm at the Devonport LINC – Workshops to strengthen creative writing skills through fun and informal activities. Every 12 months the Workshop group will publish a book containing stories written by the members of the group.

Writers Group

Every Friday, 2.30-5pm at the Devonport Community House – a group of community writers with an interest in improving and sharing their writing.

Reading Friday

The Devonport Playhouse will host dress up story time for children aged 0-5 years every Friday morning.

Pop Up Reading Rooms

A number of surprise ‘pop up’ reading rooms will be held in popular locations and non-traditional settings throughout the year.

The Great 1000 Book Challenge

A literacy based program that encourages families and caregivers of Devonport to read 1000 books with their young children.

Books + Art

Partnership between Devonport Regional Gallery, reading group, Books + Art celebrates art and literature. The group meets monthly to discuss the books selected based on the exhibitions displayed at the Gallery. Books + Art members receive discounts at Devonport Bookshop. Books + Art is an open and friendly reading group, which aims to create an atmosphere that encourages the sharing of ideas – both in literature and art – for people of all ages.

Young Writers in the City

Devonport Regional Gallery (DRG) and the Tasmanian Writers’ Centre (TWC) present the Young Writers in the City program, coinciding with the Tidal Festival in January 2017. Five young writers, aged between 16 and 30 years will be given daytime residencies, whereby the writers will spend two to three hours for at least eight days in their chosen venue and produce a 1500-2500 experimental essay inspired by their experience.