The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) is a non-profit organization which helps to build bridges to international understanding through children’s books. IBBY is committed to the principles of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by the United Nations in 1990.

IBBY’s founder, Jella Lepman, believed that books could build bridges of understanding and peace between people.   Because of this strongly held belief, she created IBBY as an international organization that would bring children together by means of books.  She did this because she was convinced that the German children she saw after World War II needed not only food, medicine, clothes and shelter, but also books. Good books, literature, and especially books from around the world. They needed to know what all good readers know: you are not alone; others have
experiences, feelings, and needs just like you do, and there is a whole world out there you know nothing about. And that world is not what you imagined. You will find out a lot about the world and its children in these wonderful books.

IBBY in Australia
IBBY Australia, was established in 1966 and Ena Noël, OAM became its first president remaining in this role for over 20 years.   Australia has twice hosted International Children’s Book Day the annual international celebration on behalf of IBBY.  The first time was in 1978, when Colin Thiele wrote the message and Robert Ingpen illustrated the poster with a picture from Storm Boy supported by a grant from the Literature Board.  The second time was in 1988, when Patricia Wrightson wrote the message The Magic Carpet, and Robert Ingpen again illustrated the poster with an image from The Idle Bear with support from the Bicentennial Authority.

Purpose and goals:

  • To promote international understanding through children’s books
  • To give children everywhere the opportunity to have access to books with high literary and artistic standards
  • To encourage the publication and distribution of quality children’s books, including those in their own languages (eg the Indigenous languages across Australia)
  • To provide support and training for those involved with children and children’s literature
  • To stimulate research and scholarly works in the field of children’s literature

Members of IBBY Australia
We look forward to welcoming individual members for IBBY Australia and institutional members. Please join us in showcasing Australian authors and illustrators for young people on the world stage.  Cost: Individual $35.00  and Institutional  $100.00.  IBBY membership form.

Annual General Meeting:
The 2019 AGM was held in Brisbane on 19 October 2019.
The 2018 AGM was held in Canberra on 7 October 2018.

Payment options:
Please make cheques payable to IBBY Australia Inc. and send to PO Box 3425, Asquith NSW 2077 or email for electronic fund transfer details.


Constitution (IBBY Australia Inc) September 2012.

Presidents of IBBY Australia

  • Ena Noël OAM (1966 – 1990)
  • Juliana Bayfield (1990 – 2001)
  • Dr John Foster (2001 – 2006)
  • Dr Margaret Zeegers (2006 – 2008)
  • Dr Robin Morrow (2009 – 2018)
  • Dr Robyn Sheahan-Bright (2018 – current)


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