The Threatened Treasures Project has emerged from the children’s literature community. It is the brain child of and is being coordinated by Mandy Langlois who is a trained primary and special education teacher, with particular interest and expertise in early literacy, music education, the arts, equity and child welfare. She has 25 years teaching experience, has worked as a children’s entertainer and is now working on her first picture book as both author and illustrator, to be published by Little Pink Dog Books.
Mandy is a moderator in the very popular children’s literature Facebook group the ‘Duck Pond.’ This group has around 1,000 members, a mixture of aspiring, emerging and established children’s literature professionals. It is an off shoot of Jen Storer’s Girl and Duck business.
Mandy launched the idea of the Threatened Treasures, poetry, science and indigenous knowledge anthology at the beginning of 2020, through the Duck Pond and in a handful of other Facebook groups. Over 100 enthusiastic writers and illustrators immediately put up their hands to form the foundation of a growing team of voluntary contributors. Not only are the community members volunteering their creative skills but the project is only able to move forward because of the generous skill and time commitments of many.
A huge team of individual volunteers are generously donating their time and skills to bring this project to fruition. The team includes scientists, web designers, editors, administrators, researchers, writer, illustrators, publishers, academics and others. A voluntary administration team, science research team, Indigenous knowledge research team and an emailing team, have worked tirelessly for weeks to launch the project.
Whilst the project is in its infancy, numerous established authors and leaders in the publishing industry have shown enthusiasm for the principles and goals upon which the project is based, these are:
* to create a unique anthology of inspiring poems which engenders wonder and curiosity in relation to a selection of Australia’s threatened natural treasures of flora, fauna and ecological communities
* to create an anthology which engenders hope in it’s audience by ensuring that all species and ecological communities represented in the anthology have strong conservation work associated with their survival.
* to create an anthology which engenders hope in it’s audience by ensuring that all poems included focus on the wonder of the species and ecological community. The book will not include poems or information that speak about the threats to the flora, fauna and ecosystems.
* to create a stunning anthology with full colour illustrations, for readers aged between 6 and 14
* to create an anthology which honours, records and celebrates our threatened natural heritage
* to create an anthology that celebrates and promotes the immeasurable value of Indigenous knowledge and the stewardship of Country encompassing practices that reach back through 60 thousand years of Australian history.
* to create an informative anthology which introduces interesting scientific facts, in relation to each species and communities represented in the poems
* to create an influential anthology which will live on in the imaginations of its readers, evoking a love for Country and a determination to care for it, within a context of hope.
The Threatened Treasures project is an entirely community based project with no commercial affiliations. Whilst the project aims to find a traditional publisher, all royalties will be donated to organisations dedicated to ecological conservation and the preservation of Indigenous knowledge.