Volunteers & Donors
Our state support groups provide invaluable assistance by managing our studio apartments and conducting fundraising events and activities in association with our Creative Time Residential fellowship programs.
If you would like information about joining a support group in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra or Melbourne please contact our coordinator.
Judith Russell 2013 Dame Annabelle Rankin Award
SA Support Group Members past and present attend the Trust's anniversary brunch. From L to R: Judy Varcoe, Patsy Bennett, Mary Wilson, Margaret Wilkinson, Sue Wright, Alle Goldsworthy(Chair), Nan Halliday, Elizabeth Hutchins, Jean Medley, Sue Nosworthy, Barbara James, Jacquie Holdich and Sally Chance.
Our ability to operate is dependent upon the funds we receive from our donors.
Through their generosity we have been able to purchase studio apartments and our major donors have enabled us to establish a number of endowed Creative Time Residential fellowships, namely:
- Iva Bridgland fellowships
- Von Crompton fellowships
- Irene Gough fellowships
Judith Russell receiving the 2013 Dame Annabelle Rankin Award
Mary Wilson – Patron of the May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust
Mary has been involved in the May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust since its inception by her husband, the late Ian Wilson (Chair), and Victorian Jeff Prentice (Deputy).
It all began in November 1989, with a phone call from author Christobel Mattingly enlisting her support to help save May Gibbs’ studio home, Nutcote, which had fallen into the hands of developers and faced demolition.
At the time, Mary was President of Delta Foundation, an Educational and Cultural body which encouraged a love of literature through book discussion groups. Delta was about to hold a seminar at Tanderra, Yankalila , entitled Children’sLiterature and the Environment….. how can we engage children to care for and understand the Environment ?
Christobel spoke at the seminar about May Gibbs and Nutcote’s plight, and they became involved immediately! Mary was Chair of the SA Action group - “Nutcote for the Nation”, and then SA Friends of Nutcote. They supported the NutcoteTrust in raising money for Nutcote’s restoration, the Education Centre and the May Gibbs NutcoteWriters in Residence scheme.
When the May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust was formed as a national entity they joined the MGCLT support group.
The more you learn about May Gibbs and her contribution to Children’s Literature, the more you realize how significant she was in her time, and how important good quality Australian children’s literature is today.
Mary is thrilled with the success of the Trust in supporting over 250 writers and illustrators from around Australia, who employ different mediums, as May did , and who reflect the diversity of our social, cultural and geographical environments.
Mary was Chair of the Barbara Hanrahan MemorialExhibition 1994,State Library of South Australia, during the Centenary of Women’s Suffrage, was awarded Life Membership of Delta Foundation in 1997, and appointed National Patron of the MGCLT in 2013. She received an UNESCO Clubs Adelaide Chapter Achievement Award for her services to Literature in 2017.
She has 4 sons, 7 grandchildren and enjoys bushwalking and reading.
Alle was invited to chair the May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust Support Group in Adelaide in 2011 and has held that position ever since. It was just as she was retiring from full-time work as the Project Manager of the Premier’s Reading Challenge in South Australia. This completed 40 years working in the Education Department, beginning as a classroom teacher. Following further study in Teacher Librarianship Alle worked in school libraries in both regional and metropolitan schools.
Alle was involved with school library professional associations, particularly as President of the School Library Association of South Australia. It seemed a natural progression to be a volunteer in the May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust, supporting authors and illustrators of children’s books and associating with like-minded people who value children’s literature.
Having fun with six grandchildren and encouraging them to love books and also playing golf and tennis adds to a busy and fulfilling life. Alle was Ladies’ President of the golf club and served on the Board for a number of years.
She is also on the judging panel for a biennial award for the Psychologists for Peace Children’s Literature Award promoting the peaceful resolution of conflict in books written by Australian authors.
Her passion for books began as a four year old being taken into the Aladdin’s cave that was Aylesbury (UK) library. As a teenager much of her summer holidays were spent volunteering at Elizabeth North Public Library.
Sue is honoured and delighted to be part of the May Gibbs CLT group that supports many of Australia’s outstanding children’s authors and illustrators.
Barbara James has been attending MGCL Trust events since its inception and joined the Support Group in its early months. She has had a lifelong interest in children’s literature, coming back to it as an adult through an interest in childhood speech and language development.
Barbara worked as a writer, reviewer, copyeditor and illustrator in the medical/health field, but her interest in children’s books led her to review books for a professional journal of children’s literature and The Advertiser online.
Barbara was a member of various children’s literature groups including the CBC and SCBWI for many years, completing a Masters degree in children’s literature during this time.
She prints cloth books for very young children and likes drawing from nature.
In time the Executive was expanded to become a board, with the awarding of fellowships now a competitive process overseen by a National Selection Committee, which Elizabeth chaired. These days she still has a role to play in selecting recipients of the Ian Wilson Memorial Fellowship – a particular pleasure – and ongoing contact with the Adelaide support group.
Apart from her writing career (13 books and counting) Elizabeth has been a secondary and TAFE teacher, and Executive Officer of the Australian Association for the Teaching of English.
A lifelong educator working in both the city and rural areas in multiple States, Judy has held Director positions, sat on Boards and Committees and provisioned successful new school services.
Having encouraged the love of books in children, including her own, from an early age throughout her career, Judy is always interested in ensuring the availability of good quality children’s literature. A home can never have too many books! Judy’s interests include playing golf, tennis and bridge, travel, walking and her garden. She is married with two daughters and an active grandmother to a granddaughter and six grandsons.
Sue initially enjoyed Primary School teaching. She was awarded a scholarship in the School Libraries Branch to continue her teacher librarianship training and produced a booklet for Early Childhood readers.
She taught first in the public system and then for fourteen years at St Peter’s College in the Junior School, where she loved teaching the students. She introduced the ‘Library Labrador’ to the school.
During the course of that journey, amidst coaching soccer, she was appointed the ‘South Australian Judge for the Children’s Book Council of Australia Awards’ for two years. This strengthened her interest and desire to support the ideals and philosophy of the May Gibbs Foundation as a volunteer.
These days Sue also thoroughly enjoys volunteering with numerous visiting authors and illustrators.
Sue loves revisiting and sharing stories with a group of like-minded enthusiastic women and also with her grandchildren in both Melbourne and Adelaide.