Our History

History of Paint the Town REaD

1996 – Rhonda Brain, then Principal of Parkes Public School in NSW, sees increasing numbers of children coming to kindergarten with delayed language development. ‘Paint the Town REaD/Birth to Kindergarten’ launches in August, with book giveaways to newborns and guest presentations by noted educational experts including Dr. Loretta Giorcelli.

1997 – The first ever Community Reading Day is held in Parkes. The community comes together to support the message ‘Read, talk, rhyme and sing with your child, so they will be ready for learning at school.

2001 – NSW Governor Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir gives vice-regal patronage to the Parkes program.

2005 – Paint the Town REaD’s Reading Relay sees a book passed, like the Olympic torch, from town to town across over 60 communities and 5500 kilometres in just two weeks, travelling by hot air balloon, motorbike, fire engine and even on horseback!

2006 – Paint the Town REaD spreads to rural Queensland.

2009 – Paint the Town REaD arrives in the Blue Mountains NSW.

2009-11 – Under an Early Literacy Working group, headed by Barbie Bates, NSW Dept of Community Services, the rural monocultural model is enriched to engage with multicultural urban Sydney. Paint the Town REaD launches across 6 Western Sydney Local Government Areas.

The first Bug Convention is held in Parkes in 2010 gathering representatives from all Paint the Town REaD regions. In 2011, the Second Early Literacy Conference is held in Penrith NSW.

2012 – In Australia’s National Year of Reading, Paint the Town REaD  celebrates literacy across the country by taking the message ‘Read, talk, rhyme and sing with your child’ to Parliament House in Canberra. The Third Early Literacy Conference is held there too.

2013 – Paint the Swan REaD launches in Perth WA. The Fourth Early Literacy Conference is held across Warren and Merrylands NSW.
Paint the Town REaD Ltd becomes a legal entity, with Rhonda Brain as the Creative Director and Barbie Bates as the Executive Director.

2014 Paint the Town REaD commences in urban Brisbane and Melbourne in partnership with United Way – Australia.
Paint the Town Read Ltd is registered as a Charity with ACNC.

2015 – The Fifth Early Literacy (now) National Conference is held in Wollongong NSW, and the model is presented at the ARACY Early Years Conference and the first National AEDC Conference.
PTTR’s REaD, Black and Yellow Aboriginal model is launched at Lake Macquarie NSW, and is soon picked up by new and older PTTR communities.

2016The first South Australian community launches – Paint the Parks and Gardens REaD. Her Excellency Lady Cosgrove, gives her patronage to PTTR Ltd, with a reception at Admiralty House Sydney.

2017The Sixth National Early Literacy Conference takes place in Katoomba NSW.
Paint the Town REaD now has a presence in over 50 communities across five states. There are 100s of organisations and 1000s of workers and community volunteers reading, talking and singing with children from birth – from Mayors to mechanics, from radio announcers to real estate staff,  in pubs and police stations, from grandparents to greengrocers, the list goes on. All supporting the development of children’s language and love of books from birth.

Paint the Town REaD, Black and Yellow is flourishing in many communities.

2018 – PTTR is now active in over seventy communities in five states, in remote, regional and urban communities.

We are now gearing up for the Seventh National Conference in Perth in March 2019.