Book Week reception at Government House

Last night I found myself at Government House attending a cocktail reception along with other authors and dignitaries invited by the Governor of Queensland, Dr Jeanette Young AC PSM in celebration of Book Week 2022. Her Excellency gave a warm speech about books and the importance of literacy – something close to my heart knowing recent generations of women and men in my own family were denied schooling due to being poor and other circumstances, especially the girls. Every day when I sit at my desk to write, I’m conscious of how fortunate I am to do what I love and to have had the opportunity of school and university, that at times when I was young, I took for granted regrettably, as I’m so grateful for it now.

It was a lovely event and I can happily say that Her Excellency approached me for a personal chat, especially about, Joe’s Fruit Shop and Milk Bar, and I thanked her for her difficult work during the pandemic, for which she was very modest. As well, it was really great to meet and chat to other authors from all different genres and backgrounds.

Unfortunately there were no photos allowed inside Government House but Roger took this one of me out front before we all went in. I was trying to recall the spot where Nonno Anni stood outside Government House in 1977 when he received a British Empire Medal for help and support to the migrant community. I didn’t quite get the exact spot but I have to laugh at the two photos, as obviously we were both battling bright sun and it was breezy – not the greatest shot for either of us (Nanna Francesca even got the camera strap in his! – smiling). The funny thing is, by chance it just happens to be 45 years since Nonno Anni received that honour at Government House, so it’s a nice serendipity to be there on the anniversary of it.

World Literacy Foundation     Indigenous Literacy Foundation


Filed under books + writing, inspiration + history

4 responses to “Book Week reception at Government House

  1. Rosemary PENNISI

    Zoe what a great honour it must have been. Can you tell me if your books are sold here in New Zealand. I have your first book, which I bought when visiting the family in New Farm.

    • Thanks, Rosemary, it was a lovely surprise to be asked! And yes, my books are all sold in New Zealand. The Proxy Bride will be out on 7 September and Joe’s Fruit Shop and Milk Bar (also partly set in New Farm) is currently available in NZ online or at your local book shop (they can order it in for you if it’s not on the shelves). Zoe x

  2. Jan Lowis

    Congratulations on the invite Zoe
    What a coincidence!
    I can’t wait to read ‘The Proxy Bride’.
    Congratulations again.

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