About us

Our mission

To foster the reading and writing of Australian literature in all its forms, and to encourage the study of the broad field of Australian literature and literary cultures.

At its heart, the Centre continues the work of the late Professor Colin Roderick and Dr Margaret Roderick, embodying their generous commitment to stimulating knowledge and production of Australian stories and storytelling.

Our vision

An understanding of Australian Literature in its broadest sense that embraces First Nations' storytelling, contemporary social issues, and the largely unrecognised stories and storytelling capacity of regional Australia.

The Rodericks

For over half a century, the Rodericks dedicated their generosity and vision to engendering enthusiasm about locally produced writing and building up a world-class program of English and Australian literary studies in the north of Australia. Their vision and life work directly benefited James Cook University and the local communities of Cairns and Townsville, but also Australian literature and Australian writers more broadly.

Colin Roderick served as editor for the Australian publisher and bookseller Angus and Robertson from 1945 to 1965 and was the firm’s director from 1961 to 1965.  He played an instrumental role in establishing chair of Australian literature at the University of Sydney, and in establishing the Miles Franklin Award.

Margaret and Colin Roderick arrived in Townsville in 1965 following Colin’s appointment as the inaugural Professor of English at the then University of College of Townsville.

The Rodericks’ passion for celebrating and promoting the best of Australia’s literary minds led to the establishment of the Foundation of Australian Literary Studies (FALS) in 1966, and the Colin Roderick Literary Award the following year. The Margaret and Colin Literary Award is now one of the richest in Australia.