Interview: Anna Reynolds – Stella Ambassador

Stella spoke with the Lord Mayor of Hobart, Councillor Anna Reynolds, who recently joined Stella as an ambassador.

Anna Reynolds Stella Ambassador

Anna began her career establishing a community legal centre in North Queensland and then held senior roles in advocacy, policy development and management in different organisations. She played a central role in Hobart’s 2023 designation as a UNESCO City of Literature.

In this special interview, Anna shares about her reading habits, why stories are fundamental to talk about climate change and the designation of Hobart as a City of Literature.

How did you first encounter the work of Stella?

My dear friend Fiona Stager, who owns the Avid Reader bookshop, told me about the Stella Prize some years ago. She was an early supporter of Stella and one of the first Stella Prize judges.

What do you see as Stella’s role in the Australian cultural sector?

Stella plays a significant role because the Prize has sought to address gender imbalance in the literary world and elevate the voices of women and non-binary writers.

How will Hobart’s cultural sector benefit from its recent appointment as a City of Literature?

The Hobart writing and reading community is so proud of our recent designation as a UNESCO City of Literature. We hope it will bring increased recognition of Hobart’s rich literary history and its thriving contemporary culture. We expect it will nurture emerging local writers and enhance efforts to improve literacy rates here in Tasmania.

We also expect the designation to be a catalyst for new partnership and projects that encourage a love of reading, writing and storytelling,

Climate is a cause close to your heart. How are the stories we consume important for climate action?

Climate change is a complex and sometimes challenging theme to deal with, so creative short stories have the power to raise awareness and make it more relatable. Inspiring stories can provide hope and create empathy about climate change, which is going to be so important in the next few years.

Stella has become a leader in the Australian public cultural debate around gender equality

What roles have books played in your life?

As I’ve got older, reading for pleasure is a special escape from reading and writing for work. Reading has been central to my personal development: it has allowed me to build my expertise, understand the world, be inspired and help me reflect and grow emotionally.

What are your top 5 favourite Stella books?

Charlotte Wood’s The Weekend.

Louise Milligan’s Witness.

Heather Rose’s The Museum of Modern Love

Clare Wright’s The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka

Hannah Kent’s Burial Rites

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