Naomi Frampton is the current President of the Annerley Community Bookshop.
I was born in England - a product of the 60’s and of several generations of teachers so books were an unavoidable pleasure. I inhabited the prairies with Laura Ingalls Wilder all the varied landscapes of C.S. Lewis’ Narnia. I loved the macabre wit of Roald Dahl and was delighted to find later that with the addition of sex, status and other adult preoccupations his themes and style work just as well in his stories for grown-ups. I came to Australia with my parents as a teenager when Thatcher’s Britain didn’t have much to offer and I recall that the first book I was presented with when I arrived was Australian Dreaming, 40,000 years of Aboriginal history. Although I’ve only ever skimmed through it I got the message about the claim of Australia’s Indigenous peoples and realised that the implications are ongoing and need to be given prominence and consideration.
In the family tradition I trained as a teacher but then gravitated towards adult education through volunteering as a tutor. I worked with the mainly African and Middle Eastern refugees learning english at the Annerley Book and Literacy Centre, the original form of the Annerley Community Bookshop. Managing english classes and coordinating volunteer tutors became my day job and I was invited to attend a committee meeting of the Annerley Community Bookshop. I soon manoeuvred my way into the position of Secretary with all the skill needed to rise to power on a voluntary management committee and began my meteoric ascendancy to the role of President, which I have clung onto since 2009!
Aside from its fantastic stock - I love the access to books and other people interested in books that the shop affords – I really value the Annerley Community Bookshop as a unique, independent community venture. The 40 or so volunteers, its irreplaceable manager, Paul, and its community-focused aims make it a different sort of space, providing some relief from the unrelenting consumerism that we have all become used to. I really enjoy the process of working with others on the management committee and in the volunteer pool, discovering the skills and strengths of others and working in a complementary way towards the common goal of helping to maintain and develop the Annerley Community Bookshop for as long as it seems to serve a useful purpose and is a valued contributor to its community.
Naomi, June 2013