$5M boost to Australian Literature

The Boisbouvier Founding Chair in Australian Literature has been established at the University of Melbourne to advance the teaching, appreciation and public profile of Australian literature. The professorship has been made possible through the very generous donation of $5 million by Mr John Wylie AM and Mrs Myriam Boisbouvier-Wylie to Believe - the Campaign for the University of Melbourne.

The University of Melbourne and the State Library of Victoria have an ongoing partnership spanning 150 years. My Wylie, President of the Library Board of Victoria said the donation will increase opportunities for both institutions to work together to foster deeper 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," Mr Wylie said.

The position will be located at the University of Melbourne in the Faculty of Arts' School of Culture and Communication. The Chair will not only provide a leading voice to advance the case of Australian literature, but actively mentor and develop aspiring writers and scholars in the field and foster public programs to increase community appreciation of national literature and strengthen Melbourne's place as a UNESCO City of Literature.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Glyn Davis said the position had the power to transform not only teaching and research in Australian literature but the very practice of writing it saying, "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."

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 encourage all Victorians to read and support our homegrown talent," she said.