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Advancing the appreciation of Australian literature through new Chair

January 23rd, 2015

In a first for Victoria, the Boisbouvier Founding Chair in Australian Literature has been established at the University of Melbourne to advance the teaching, understanding and public appreciation of Australian literature.

Made possible through a generous $5 million donation to Believe – the Campaign for the University of Melbourne by Mr John Wylie AM and Mrs Myriam Boisbouvier-Wylie, the Chair will foster the long-standing partnership between the University and the State Library Victoria.

Mr Wylie, who is President of the Library Board of Victoria, said the donation to the University would increase opportunities for both institutions to work together to develop wider interest in Australian literature. 

“We are thrilled to be contributing to the teaching and learning of Australian Literature. We hope the Boisbouvier Founding Chair in Australian Literature will make a real difference to how the community understands and appreciates national literature,” he said.

The position will provide a leading voice to advance the cause of Australian literature.

Located at the University of Melbourne, in the Faculty of Arts’ School of Culture and Communication, the Chair will mentor and develop aspiring writers and also foster public programs that improve community appreciation of Australian literature.

It will develop specialised teaching for students whose focus is Australian writing, provide mentorship for writers and scholars in the field and seek to enhance Melbourne’s place as a UNESCO City of Literature.

Professor Glyn Davis, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Melbourne said the establishment of the Chair was a great coup for Melbourne.

“This is a wonderful first for Melbourne, the State and for advancing Australian literature which is an essential part of how we define ourselves and our place in the world.”

“A fully-endowed Chair is a game-changer in any academic field, and this new position will not only transform teaching and research in Australian literature, but also the practice of writing and contribute to an even more robust industry.”

“Additionally, this gift will strengthen the University and Library’s 150-year relationship,” he said.

State Librarian and CEO Sue Roberts said the Boisbouvier Chair would bring Australian writers to a broader audience. 

“We are delighted to see Victoria’s first chair of Australian literature established. This role will not only work with the State Library to foster the great writers of the future but will encourage all Victorians to read and support our homegrown talent,” she said.

More Information: Rebecca Scott 0417 164 791 / rebeccas@unimelb.edu.au

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