17 Nov 2015

The Duchess of Cornwall supports the importance of literacy at the State Library

At a visit to the State Library on Sunday, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall heard about programs the library runs to encourage parents to read to their children.

An avid reader herself, The Duchess was read to frequently by her father.  She read to her own children and now reads to her grandchildren.

State Librarian and CEO Margaret Allen said children whose parents read with them from birth have better developed early literacy skills and are better prepared to begin school.

“We are very honoured to share our stories with The Duchess who has a strong connection with similar literacy programs,” she said.

“The State Library’s Better Beginnings program promotes literacy by introducing children aged zero to five years to appropriate books and activities.”

During her 45 minute visit to the Library, The Duchess joined in a Learning English Through Storytelling (LETS) group activity, talked to a group of West Australians about how the Storylines program can assist with exploring Aboriginal family history and viewed the Lynley Dodd Story exhibition.

The Lynley Dodd Story is an exhibition of original works from the world renowned author and illustrator of the Hairy Maclary and Friends book series,” Mrs Allen said.

“The Duchess read these books to her own grandchildren as they were growing up and even features in the exhibition.”

The Duchess also spent time looking at some of the State’s treasured heritage collection items including Mary Ann Friend’s illustrated journal, the John Septimus Roe logbook, Robert Fairbairn’s message sticks and botanical illustrations by Rica Erickson.

A diary written by Lieutenant Raymond Stewart of the 2/28th Australian Infantry Battalion 1942 is also among the collection items.

“Keeping a diary was against camp rules, so it was written in secret on a toilet roll and hidden in a Red Cross gift box, while he was imprisoned in Italian and German prisoner of war camps during World War II,” Mrs Allen said.

“It describes camp routine and the daily life of a prisoner and records his concern for missing comrades and distress over the death of friends.”

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Page last updated: Tuesday 17 November 2015

17 Sep 2015

Free lunchtime concerts showcase new music at the State Library

Emerging Western Australian composers will have the opportunity to road-test their music in a public space outside of the WAAPA Music Auditorium in a series of live lunchtime performances at the State Library of WA (SLWA).

As a demonstration of its commitment to cultivating creative ideas, SLWA is hosting the free lunchtime ‘new music’ performances, mostly in the open public spaces at the Library.

As well as cherishing the State’s historical treasures, the State Library has a role in collecting and preserving this new music which will become the history of future generations.
SLWA recently partnered with Tura New Music and Edith Cowan University to develop the WA New Music Archives (WANMA). The performance series is the next step in showcasing the Library’s contemporary role making significant Western Australian music accessible to a wide audience.

Often thought of as an extension of the classical music tradition that developed throughout the 20th century, new music is an expansion of the compositional and performative possibilities of music.

New music practice includes contributions from those working in other genres such as jazz, rock, electronic music and various global musical traditions. In drawing from this cross-disciplinary aesthetic, new music attempts to push the boundaries of what music is and can be.


  • Fri 18 September - The Newhouse Collective:  an exciting new ensemble performing the original jazz influenced compositions of talented young composer, Tim Newhouse.

  • Fri 30 October - WAAPA piano students showcase a range of approaches to new music, all performed primarily on piano.

  • Fri 13 November - Catherine Ashley: A dynamic and versatile harpist, Catherine has performed with the WAMI nominated 13-piece symphonic-pop collective “The Shallows” since 2010. Catherine is passionate about harp education and runs a successful teaching practice.

  • Fri 11 December - Josten Myburgh: Studying honours in composition and music technology at WAPPA, Josten’s work is often concerned with the relationships between digital and acoustic sound, and the tension created as a result of these timbral intersections.
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Page last updated: Thursday 17 September 2015

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Page last updated: Tuesday 17 November 2015

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