Suzy Wilson, an advocate for Indigenous literacy, has been awarded The Australian Publishers Association‘s 2018 Lloyd O’Neil Award. The independent bookseller will be presented with this prestigious accolade at the Australian Book Industry Awards in Sydney on 3 May for her service to the industry.

Suzy is the owner of the award winning Riverbend Books and Teahouse in Bulimba and is also the founder of the organisation that became the Indigenous Literary Foundation. This organisation has so far brought 260,000 new books into remote indigenous communities in an effort to increase literacy levels. As a former teacher, education consultant and university lecturer, Suzy has received the Dromkeen Award and been an Ambassador for the National Year of Reading. In addition, Suzy is also a recipient of the annual Johnno prize and was honoured in the Australia Day Awards in 2014, winning the Queensland local hero award.

Suzy will be presented with the award at the ABIAs by Dame Quentin Bryce.  “I am thrilled and delighted to be presenting the Lloyd O’Neil Prize to Ms Suzy Wilson. Across 20 years Suzy has made an inspiring and truly significant contribution to the cultural life of Queensland at her much loved Riverbend Bookshop. It is an honour for me to acknowledge her proudest achievement, establishing and growing the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, to give young indigenous Australians in remote communities the joy of books and reading, adventures, stories, curiosity, imagination – language, culture, country,” Dame Bryce said.

The Lloyd O’Neil award recognises outstanding service to the Australian book industry by an individual from within its ranks, including publishers, booksellers, authors and other industry representatives. Suzy is the 27th recipient of the award, which last year went to author Di Morrissey.