“Two key events as a child have shaped my development. The first was learning how to read from my parents through bedtime stories, and the second, receiving a box of books from my Godmother for my birthday. It stirred me to read and explore the world in magical ways and left me with a lifelong thirst for knowledge and imagination. Reading is a human right and I feel that education is the best way in addressing the challenges our world faces today and in doing so make a difference. More than ever before, a young person’s success today is closely linked to their ability to express their ideas with clarity and certainty. Let’s together engage, educate and empower our present and future leaders.”
Colin Lee is a leading authority on personal and professional development for Generation Y and Z in Australia and abroad. Nominated for the Australian of the Year 2008 award, Colin won the award for Best Young Gun in Small Business and Winner of the NSW Small Business Champion Entrepreneur. Colin is engaging, empowering and inspired with experience gained from more than a decade of leading, developing and speaking to more than 50,000 young people from across schools, universities, organisations and businesses.
“As a child my teacher once said to me, “If you ever dreamt of meeting Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck, or want to go to America or London, it will not cost you a cent, you can go there for free if you’re interested! I’ll see you in the library during lunch”. As a 7 year old child, the thought of meeting Mickey Mouse was something I couldn’t pass up, and it was only through books and my school library, that I visited more countries than I could ever imagine. Thank you to that special teacher who opened my imagination for adventure through books.”
Tania Major is a Kokoberra woman from the remote community of Kowanyama in Cape York Queensland. She holds a degree in Criminology from Griffith University, and at 21 became the youngest elected regional councillor in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC). In 2006 Tania was announced as the Queensland Young Australian of the Year, and was further honoured by being named the Young Australian of the Year in January 2007. Tania has also achieved international recognition in winning the Political, Legal and/or Government Affairs section of the Junior Chamber International’s Outstanding Young Persons of the World contest held in India in 2007.
“When I was 8, I followed my mother into a shop full of books. Feeling bored, I flipped through a few pages of a comic book. While looking at the interesting characters and unique artwork, my imagination filled in the blanks between the pictures and it was like a film playing in my head. Many visits later, I started drawing and sketching the characters in the comic books that I’ve read. Soon I became very curious of other types of books and my parents brought my sisters and I to a book rental shop. It was our weekly family time and there was something communal about the place with the other families there too. Books build our spirit and open our mind. I especially want every child to find their personal book which will spark their imagination.”
Weng Fai Wong is an early adopter in Web technology who is passionate about startups, simple design and NBA. In 2012, Fai won the Intrapreneur category of the Anthill 30under30 Awards. His game plan for winning – getting product development, design, user experience and distribution right. As a tireless champion of Gen Y and Z, he hopes to build long lasting communities online and offline whose collective effort will make the world a better place.
“The very first books in my childhood were great classic stories that triggered my imagination. Hansel & Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, Matilda, David and Goliath, I can still recall the fascination I felt. It is nostalgia, relaxation, adventure, curiosity, imagination, excitement, fun, education and experience in one compact little bundle that forever sticks with you. Not aware when I was little, I know now more than ever that early exposure to books can have a major positive influence in your life and personal development. I have had the privilege to have access to books, education and everything I needed to experience life and it is a great thing that needs to be shared. So let us start one book at a time with Bus Of Books!”
Specialised with a Master of Commerce in Marketing and Business Management, Marlous is very passionate about people and community development and believes it is crucial to help each other wherever possible to make a difference in issues we face today. Having had the opportunity to be actively involved with and coordinate fundraising events for not for profits and charity organisations such as the Cancer Council NSW, Rotaract, and OneGirl Foundation, Marlous is now very pleased to join Bus Of Books to further fuel her passion with an adventurous ride to tackle literacy issues in rural communities in Australia and beyond.
“When I was younger, books were extremely difficult for me to enjoy and immerse myself in. Since then, I have harnessed the power of finding books that interest and engage me. Through these books, I have been able to grow as a person and learn more about myself and let them inspire me. Books have been a door to a whole new inspirational world. Everyone has the right to open this door and let the power of books enhance their interest and knowledge.”
Sam has been managing two businesses with great success after leaving school and is now currently studying Bachelor of Business at University of Technology, Sydney. He intends to enter the world of property and reach his goals of building housing for underprivileged communities throughout the world. Through the education of books, Sam believes that his goal of helping others is definitely within his grasp.
“As a child, books were always an exciting thing for me. I remember clearly venturing to the local library with my family and being able to use books to go on wonderful adventures with the characters in the stories…and there was also the fun of reading comics every week, as my aunt worked at a newsagency…so my brother and I would have a whole box of comics to enjoy – what a treat! It would be my dream to see books fill school and community libraries so kids can have easy access to books and have fun learning.”
Dinh is passionate about the web, and has been consulting in the web industry since 2004. She has worked closely with the Bus of Books team to put together a web presence for this very worthwhile community project. Dinh is the Managing Director at Easy Web Solutions, eBook Publisher and Founder of EatTheGlobe.com.