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Country Queen’s charity wins Presidential support

Law Society of NSW 2 mins read

Friday, 15 March 2024

Country Queen’s charity wins Presidential support


An organisation helping to reveal the magic of reading to around 40,000 children across Australia has been adopted as the President’s Charity by the Law Society of NSW as coming research confirms the benefits of the program.


At a launch event in Tamworth, President of the Law Society Brett McGrath said United Way Australia is making giant strides for child literacy through Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, since it began here over a decade ago.


“There’s no more appropriate place than Australia’s Country Music Capital to launch my President’s Charity where the program, established by the world’s Queen of Country Music nearly thirty years ago, is a flagship among those operating in more than 29 NSW Local Government Areas,” Mr McGrath said.


Mr McGrath launched the Law Society’s twelve month involvement with UWA this morning at Tamworth City Library foreshadowing new research to be published in the prestigious Journal of Research in Childhood Education.


“I’m thrilled that this new research will reinforce what participant parents and kids in the program already know. The Imagination Library is paving the way towards a brighter future for the next generation.”


In participating communities, the Imagination Library delivers a carefully selected physical book for a child to keep, every month from birth until they turn five. UWA’s Statistician and Senior Impact Analyst Claire Galea said the benefits of the program go well beyond the children who take part.


“This research will demonstrate that the Imagination Library is forging strong connections between children and carers, families and other children as they grow. Whole communities have been connected by the program,” Ms Galea said.


Tamworth Region Mayor Russell Webb said the Imagination Library is one of the most important initiatives Council supports for our community. 


“Since launching in Tamworth in 2019 we have seen the literacy skills of our children improve, and I can’t thank the individuals and organisations who donate to this program to ensure its longevity enough for their ongoing support. This has enabled more than 3,500 children to be registered to receive books across the region.” Mr Webb said.


UWA Head of Network Development for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Leo Krikmann said the research reinforces other academic literature and government reports that regular reading with a child can have a significant effect on their life trajectory.


“The research findings will be a clarion call to policy makers who work to achieving better outcomes for children. With sufficient backing as well as local support from communities, what’s happened in Tamworth can be repeated in every community in Australia,” Mr Krikmann said.


“That’s why United Way is grateful to Mr McGrath and the Law Society for swinging their support behind a program that helps makes reading a reality for children who might otherwise go without.”


Watch the President’s Charity video here and donate to United Way Australia here. An infographic summarising the research is attached. The video can be downloaded here.


MEDIA CONTACTS: Damien Smith               

Director, Media and Public Relations          
The Law Society of New South Wales           

M: +61 417 788 947


Leo Krikmann – Head of Network Development

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

United Way Australia

M: 0413 878 018



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