Anna Dollard has worked in publishing and the Arts for over 30 years. She was Program Manager at Kids’ Own Publishing for 6 years and Director from 2017. Anna has unique experience in bringing together artists, authors, designers and communities, having worked on well over 100 community publishing projects. Anna has built a strong partnership with researchers from Melbourne University’s Graduate School of Education, and Australian Catholic University’s Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences, to better understand and share knowledge about the processes, benefits and impacts of child centred community publishing. She designed the Kids’ Own Languages program of publishing as a new way to explore and celebrate all the languages that children know, and the way they use them. Anna has also driven new directions with form: she was a key driver of Kids’ Home Publishing, a video series by artists and authors, responding to COVID by offering resources and inspiration for children to publish books from home.
As a self-described professional artist from the age of five, Annasophia Larsen can remember doorknocking to sell her work to unsuspecting neighbours. Although she now uses more established methods of exhibiting her own art, Annasophia still engages with art making with, and alongside, children and families with the same fun and joy that she did as a child. Prior to taking up this role supporting artists working with Kids’ Own, Annasophia was been a Lead Artist on Kids’ Own Publishing programs and publications for the past 8 years, including bilingual and multilingual books with Karen, Hakha Chin and Afghan families. She has taught children about all sorts of fun things at the Melbourne Museum and most recently was a guest artist at the City of Melbourne’s ArtPlay.
Writer in residence
Ailsa worked as a teaching artist for Kids’ Own Publishing for 12 years, then became a lead trainer and mentor for new artists. She has facilitated over 30 innovative publishing initiatives with a diverse range of communities. Ailsa has a Masters of Creative Media (creative writing) from RMIT and has been a member of the Women’s Circus since the year 2000. In her life outside Kids’ Own Publishing, Ailsa is a much published and much loved author of children’s books including two junior fiction series: ‘Squishy Taylor’ and ‘The Naughtiest Pixie’ (Hardie Grant Egmont), is the lead writer of Small Friends Books (CSIRO Publishing and Scale Free Network) and has authored non fiction titles for older readers – The Care Factor: a story of nursing and connection in the time of social distancing and You’ll be a Wonderful Dad!
Bookkeeper and Employment Coordinator
Jenn Bishop joined the Kids’ Own Office team in 2012. She brings with her a background in Fine Arts and Arts Administration and a love of fixing things and doing lots of odd jobs. Jenn recently began her Masters of Education (Primary) but has taken a leave of absence to look after her own children.