Who we are

Founded by Sarah Garnett in 2003, The Footpath Library grew out of sorrow, a simple observation, and the desire to make a difference.

 

Patron

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    Peter FitzSimons

    Peter FitzSimons is a former Wallaby, a best-selling author and a writer for The Sydney Morning Herald. In his three decades in print, radio and television journalism, Peter has personally interviewed everyone from President George Bush Snr. to Matt Damon and every Australian Prime Minister from Gough Whitlam through to Malcolm Turnbull. He also holds the Guinness World Record for the longest interview, a record he shares with The Footpath Library ambassador Richard Glover. He is the author of over 28 books - his latest is Fromelles and Pozières: In the trenches of Hell.

The Park Bench

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    Sarah Garnett

    The Footpath Library’s Founder and Managing Director is a video producer and Anthropology student living on the northern beaches of Sydney with her family. She started The Footpath Library in 2003 and is passionate about encouraging literacy from an early age and making books accessible to everyone who loves reading.

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    Nicolas Deloux

    Nicolas has over 10 years' experience working on sustainability and development issues in Central Asia, the UK, Western Europe and Australia. He strongly believes in the therapeutic and inspirational nature of books and is really honoured to join The Footpath Library.

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    Barbara McKellar

    Chair, Barbara McKellar is the owner of a small learning and development consultancy, an experienced board member, avid reader, and a voluntary literacy tutor. A great believer in the power of books to inspire, enrich and change lives, Barbara is honoured to be part of The Footpath Library.

Ambassadors

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    Richard Glover (NSW)

    “I’ve always found great consolation in reading, in losing myself in the imagined lives of others. I’d like this joy to be available to all Australians, even if homelessness gets in the way. This is just what The Footpath Library tries to achieve.”
    Richard Glover is the author of twelve books, including “Why Men Are Necessary” and “The Mud House”. His weekly humour column has been published in the Sydney Morning Herald for over twenty-five years. For the last 17 years he’s also presented the Drive show on 702 ABC Sydney.

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    P. M. Newton (NSW)

    “My earliest memories involve trips to the library, choosing books, holding whole worlds in my hands, turning the pages and disappearing into those worlds.
    I’m proud to be an ambassador for The Footpath Library, a project that takes the library on a trip to the streets and puts the world into the hands of homeless people.”
    P.M. Newton now lives in Sydney. Her first novel, The Old School, won the Sisters in Crime Davitt Award and the Asher Literary Award, and was shortlisted for the Indie Award for Debut Fiction and the Ned Kelly Award for Best First Fiction.

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    Emily Maguire (NSW)

    “Books have given me great pleasure since I was old enough to turn pages, but it’s when things are really tough that I’ve learnt how essential they are. The comfort, wisdom, company and plain old distraction I’ve found in books has saved me over and over. I support The Footpath Library because I need to know that these spirit-boosting, hope-feeding life-savers are always available to those who need them most.”
    Emily Maguire is the author of four novels as well as the non-fiction book Princesses and Pornstars: Sex + Power + Identity (2008).

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    Nick Earls (QLD)

    “In my ideal world, everyone would have ready access to the books they might need or want to enhance their literacy skills and inform and entertain them. We don’t live in my ideal world, but The Footpath Library takes us a slab or two of pavement closer to it.”
    Nick writes long, short and medium-sized fiction, so far including twelve novels and numerous shorter works. With the publication of the first installment of the Word Hunters series in September 2012, he is now officially also a writer for children.

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    Chris Sarra (QLD)

    Born in Queensland’s Bundaberg in 1967 as the youngest of 10 children to an Italian father and an Aboriginal mother, Chris Sarra is now the head of the Stronger Smarter Institute. He has had an extensive career in education, completing a Diploma of Teaching, a Bachelor of Education, a Master of Education and a PhD in Psychology. Sarra’s autobiography, Good Morning, Mr Sarra (UQP, 2012), outlines his vision for a stronger, smarter future for indigenous children.

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    Kate Holden (VIC)

    “It’s hard when you’re homeless to keep possessions, and to lose my books when it was my turn was one of the greatest losses I felt. I was so miserable and frightened, and needed books to keep my sanity and my courage — and my vision of what a better life might be like. The Footpath Library is such a simple idea — and such a beautiful and enriching one.”
    Kate is a fulltime professional writer. In My Skin, a memoir about Kate’s years as a heroin addict and prostitute, was shortlisted for awards in Australia and has been published in the USA, Europe, South America and Scandinavia.

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    Jen Storer (VIC)

    ‘I was raised in a book-free household. My parents were loving people but saw no value in books. However, as is their wont books did manage to infiltrate my childhood. I am beyond grateful for those occasions. Books filled me with hope, wonder and a sense of possibility. Books gave me courage, too. They still do so. I’m honoured to be involved with The Footpath Library, to have the chance to share the life-affirming qualities of books.’
    Jen Storer is a children’s author and mixed media artist. Her gothic novel Tensy Farlow and the Home for Mislaid Children was shortlisted for numerous awards. Her beloved Truly Tan series continues to garner thousands of fans. Jen created the 2016 EPIC Short Story poster.

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    David Whish-Wilson (WA)

    “I’ve slept rough myself when I was young and broke and out-of-sorts and having taught in the prison system I’m aware how homelessness and disadvantage can be a trigger for incarceration. In both of those situations I’ve seen how books can not only bring about an escape into other worlds, but can also help bring into definition both a sharper sense of ourselves and of the world around us.”
    David Whish-Wilson lives in Fremantle and is the author of three novels: The Summons, Line of Sight and most recently Zero at the Bone. David’s most recent book is Perth, part of the New South city series.

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    Ken Spillman (WA)

    “I see stories and worlds of the imagination as forms of sustenance, building resilience. For years now I’ve supported foundations that promote literacy and storytelling among socially and economically disadvantaged children in poorer nations, and I’m proud to be an Ambassador for The Footpath Library, which provides opportunities to marginalised people in my own country.”
    Ken Spillman is the Perth-based author of more than 40 books and the editor of many others. His work spans several genres, with his writing for children and young adults appearing in more than a dozen countries and in many translations.