BA., Dip. T., Grad.Dip. Lib., M. App. Sci.(Information Studies)

Marj Kirkland is the Incoming National President of the Children’s Book Council of Australia, 2009 – 2010. Presently Teacher-Librarian at Aquinas College on the Gold Coast, she has been a Teacher-Librarian since 1977 in Brisbane, Cairns and the Gold Coast, with a short time as a scientific librarian for the State Library of Queensland.

Marj has enjoyed many roles in schools: teacher, Head of Senior School, academic and pastoral coordinator, ATSI tutor and yearbook editor. She is passionate about extending students’ worlds through reading and literacy improvement. In 2006, as a member of the Aquinas College literacy project team, she was the proud winner of the Brian Bahnisch Award, a biennial award that recognises and encourages collaborations and partnerships involving teacher-librarians, teachers, and other members of the school community.

As an active member of the Australian School Library Association, Marj has held the positions of Branch President, State Councillor and National Executive member. She regularly presents professional development in literature and literacy at state and national conferences and to other schools.

Marj believes that our lives can be enriched through the imaginative and creative dimensions of art, film, food, music and literature. She has been a judge for the Nestlé Write Around Australia competition, a restaurant reviewer, Cinema Group President, book and film reviewer and editor. She hopes to employ her skills to promote Australian children’s and young adult fiction in her new role with the CBCA.


Bridging the Gap


Marj will explore why reading is important and discuss 'the gap of understanding'. She will link this to the commercialisation of popular culture and how reading allows us individual thought - bridging individuals and communities and making us more tolerant human beings. Reading gives us the "What if?" factor.

Marj will include examples of student voices and investigate what kids love about reading and why other kids don't read. What are the barriers to creating readers? One is literacy!

She will give examples of 'touchdown' reading experiences and talk about bridging the gap to make reading a truly pleasurable experience.

Proposed workshops

  • Developing a Whole School Literacy Plan - where to start and examples from real life
  • Literature circles - engaging readers and promoting literature
  • Readers' Cup - Singapore begins the journey. Examples from a successful competition.