Australian Book Review appoints Sarah Holland-Batt as its new Chair

ABR Sarah Holland-BattThe Australian Book Review has announced that Sarah Holland-Batt has been appointed as its new Chair.

Joining the Board in 2019, Holland-Batt is the first Queenslander to hold this position – and ABR’s youngest Chair to date. She succeeds Colin Golvan AM QC, who took over from Morag Fraser in 2015. (Colin Golvan remains on the Board, and former County Court Judge Graham Anderson has joined it.)

“I look forward to working even more closely with my fellow poet Sarah Holland-Batt, who has been a notable contributor to the magazine since 2013,” said Peter Rose, ABR Editor. “These are challenging times for the arts, but ABR has the resolve, the experience, and the resources to advance the sixty-year-old work of this organisation.”

A recipient of a Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship, Sarah Holland-Batt has received fellowships at MacDowell and Yaddo colonies in the United States, and an Australia Council Literature Residency at the B.R. Whiting Studio Library in Rome, among other honours. She presently works as an Associate Professor in the Creative Industries Faculty at QUT. Her most recent book of poems is The Hazards (UQP, 2015) – which received the 2016 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Poetry.

I am delighted to be stepping into the role of Chair of ABR, which plays an irreplaceable role in Australian cultural life,” said Sarah Holland-Batt. “It is an honour and privilege to serve as its Chair. The magazine has long championed and celebrated Australian literature and the arts, offering its readers world-class criticism, commentary, and creative work of unrivalled depth and breadth.”

“At a time when venues for criticism and reviews are contracting, ABR’s role as an outlet that advocates for Australian literature and culture has never been more important – a fact recognised by the magazine’s thousands of enthusiastic subscribers and supporters.”

Like many other arts organisations, ABR is facing challenging and uncertain times – exacerbated by recent defunding by the Australia Council – but, driven by the unwavering dedication of its phenomenally hard-working staff, and buoyed by the generous support of its readers and patrons, ABR will survive these challenges stronger than ever.”

“It will be a privilege to work alongside the magazine’s indefatigable editor, Peter Rose, its Board, and staff as we tackle these challenges together, and continue to deliver exceptional coverage to ABR’s readers, who are turning to the magazine for pleasure, provocation, and intellectual succour more than ever,” said Ms Holland-Batt.

For more information about the Australian Book Review, visit: for details.

Image: Sarah Holland-Batt (supplied)