Shaun Tan to present public lecture

Eminent author and illustrator Shaun Tan will be in Bendigo on 17 November to present La Trobe University’s 2011 Sir John Quick Lecture.

SHAUN-TAN-stdLa Trobe University Bendigo Campus Executive Director, Andrew Skewes is delighted that Mr Tan has accepted the invitation to present the lecture.

‘We are very fortunate to have someone of Mr Tan’s calibre presenting the Sir John Quick Lecture this year and I’m confident that there will be a full house for the event,’ said Mr Skewes.

‘Mr Tan’s beautifully illustrated books are a valuable educational tool for children as they often tackle social, political and historical issues in a way that is accessible to them,’ added Mr Skewes.

Among the topics that Mr Tan will share with the audience is the Oscar winning animated short film, The Lost Thing, which is based on his book and which he directed.

Mr Tan’s success at the Academy Awards in February of this year was repeated when he won the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award.

With an annual prize of up to one million Swedish Kroner, this is one of the world’s richest prizes for literature. Australian author, Sonya Hartnett won the award in 2008 and Mr Tan’s win this year makes Australia the only country to have won the award twice since it was first awarded in 2003.

The event at the Capital Theatre, which has been organised by La Trobe University’s Education Faculty, will also feature the presentation of the Euphemia Tanner Award.

‘The Euphemia Tanner Award was established in memory of Euphemia Tanner, Australia’s first librarian specialising in children’s literature,’ said the Executive Dean, Faculty of Education, Professor Lorraine Ling.

‘Combining Mr Tan’s lecture with a presentation of the award will make the evening a true celebration of children’s literature,’ said Professor Ling.

The lecture and award presentation at the Capital Theatre commences at 6.00 pm on Thursday 17 November.

Light refreshments will be available after the event and book signing will conclude the evening. Books will be available for purchase on the night.

Seats to the public lecture are filling fast. Bookings are essential and interested members of the community can reserve their place by emailing or calling 03 5444 7374.


Media enquiries

Tom O‘Callaghan, Ph (03) 5444 7415  M 0408 900 469 E

BACKGROUND – Sir John Quick Lecture

The Sir John Quick Lecture is presented annually by La Trobe University Bendigo with the support of the Sir John Quick Lecture Committee and the City of Greater Bendigo. The lecture series has been established in honour of an acknowledged ‘father’ of Australian Federation, Sir John Quick who was awarded a knighthood in 1901.

John Quick was born in Cornwall, England in 1852. In 1854 his family migrated to Australia; his father died shortly thereafter.

At age 10 he entered the workforce, undertaking various manual jobs in mines then progressed to journalism. His drive for self improvement led him to complete a law degree at the University of Melbourne (1874-77) and in 1882 he was awarded a Doctorate in Law.

At this time, Sir John Quick was in charge of the Age Parliamentary staff. He entered politics himself in 1880, winning the Legislative Assembly seat of Sandhurst (Bendigo), which he held until 1889.

Quick's public support for Australian Federation commenced with an 1882 speech to Parliament. As a delegate from the Bendigo A.N.A., he attended the 1893 Corowa Conference where he presented the famous resolution which took Federation's fate away from Parliaments, and gave it directly to the people via elections for representatives and a referendum on the draft Constitution. He wrote the Enabling Bill needed for these stages to occur and also wrote a booklet, A Digest of Federal Constitution (1896), to help educate the public.

Throughout the two referenda campaigns of 1898 and 1899, he addressed numerous public meetings.

Quick's work for Federation was recognised with the award of a knighthood in 1901.

He was elected unopposed as Bendigo's first Federal MP, holding the seat until 1913.

The Sir John Quick Bendigo Lecture has been established to revive the memory of this self-made man who had the forethought and perseverance to promote Australia's union. Quick himself referred to his long devotion to Federation as a 'public duty' he had to perform. Sir John Quick deserves to be recognised as a 'Father' of Australian Federation.


For outstanding personal contribution to children's literature

The Pheme Tanner Award is a biennial award jointly sponsored by La Trobe University, Bendigo and the Business and Professional Women's Association (BPWA) of Bendigo.  It is presented to recognise distinguished service to Children's Literature and the encouragement of the joys of reading in children.

The award commemorates Miss Euphemia Tanner (1914 - 1993), who was the Bendigo Library's Children's Librarian from 1946 to 1979 and one of the first full-time children's librarians in Australia. Her enthusiasm for literature and wide knowledge of children's books influenced a generation of readers. Her greatest reward, she said, was to know that she had left so many children with a love of books and introduced them to the joys of reading.

She was also President and long time member of the BPWA, raising issues of the status of women in professional life. She took a firm and determined stand on many situations and projects that affected not only her own professional life, but also those of her staff, her peers and all professional women.

Miss Tanner was energetic and enthusiastic, often single-minded and forthright. She made immense contribution to the strong traditions of libraries and children's literature in Bendigo, and was responsible for generations of children in central Victoria reading widely, critically and well.