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What do an author and a stand-up comic have in common?

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The Hon Julia Gillard MP

Minister for Education. Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Minister for Social Inclusion Deputy Prime Minister

23 August, 2009

Media release

What do an author and a stand-up comic have in common?

They have both been named Ambassadors of National Literacy and Numeracy Week 2009.

The Minister for Education, Julia Gillard, today announced Mr John Flanagan, author of the Ranger’s Apprentice adventure series, as Literary Ambassador and Mr Simon Pampena, stand-up mathematics comedian, as Numeracy Ambassador.

The Minister for Education will be joined by the Ambassadors at Wiley Park Public School in Sydney tomorrow to officially launch National Literacy and Numeracy Week 2009 which will run from 31 August to 6 September.

National Literacy and Numeracy Week (NLNW) is an initiative designed to raise community awareness of the importance of effective literacy and numeracy skills for all Australians.

The theme for NLNW 2009 is ‘Getting the Basics Right’ to highlight the fact that students must be proficient in literacy and numeracy to be able to fully participate in the world of work and further study throughout their lives.

The Rudd Government has committed more than half a billion dollars to improving literacy and numeracy in schools. In fact, literacy and numeracy pilot projects are already underway in schools across the nation to help us find the best ways of helping students who may be struggling with the basics.

National Literacy and Numeracy Week gives schools the opportunity to get involved in a range of activities and recognise locally the achievements of students, the work of teachers and the support of the school community.

The Ambassadors will attend schools during the NLNW to encourage students to discover and explore literacy and numeracy in a fun but meaningful way.

Mr Flanagan believes young readers should read books that are engrossing, but accessible, to make them feel as though they are living the story along with the characters in the book.

Mr Pampena wants to inspire a new generation of potential mathematicians to use their imagination and enjoy exploring the concepts of mathematics.

The Australian Government thanks the Ambassadors who give freely of their time to promote the importance of literacy and numeracy skills in our community.

Together with the new National Curriculum currently under development, the Education Revolution is driving a renewed focus on the foundation skills of literacy and numeracy.

Further information about the Week and the National Ambassadors, can be found at

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