Connecting with influential, like-minded people is a key strategy to furthering our impact. By leveraging our ambassadors’ audience, we can inspire and engage more people to join us in this vital work. The Imagination Library was established in Australia’s country music capital, Tamworth, thanks in large part to the vision of Jay and Mark O’Shea.
Born in Australia’s Country Music Capital of Tamworth NSW, Ashleigh’s debut album, Lighthouse was awarded the inaugural Traditional Country Album of The Year Golden Guitar in 2018.
With all of the family history and the individual dreams, Ashleigh strives to be a positive force within the industry, continuing to share her songwriting, using her voice and music platform to be an ambassador for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Australia. Ashleigh’s daughter Harriet is also a recipient of the Imagination Library.
Singer and Author, Harrison Craig is using his talents to raise awareness of the importance of early learning and literacy across Australian communities of disadvantage.
Harrison Craig won The Voice in 2013, but for many years he struggled to find his own voice. He battled with a stutter for most of his younger life, which made everyday conversation very difficult for him. Often the subject of bullying, he turned to his love of singing, which is how the story behind his book Harrison’s Song began. Harrison joined the United Way Australia family as our ambassador in 2017 and has visited many Imagination Library communities, sharing his book, his story and always his songs with Australian children!
Jay and Mark O’Shea
The multi-award winning husband and wife duo O’Shea is one of Australia’s most energetic live acts. Now based in Nashville, the Australian couple have graced stages from the Grand Ole Opry to the Sydney Opera House.
The Imagination Library was established in Australia’s country music capital, Tamworth, thanks in large part to the vision of Jay and Mark O’Shea.
Although Mark and Jay may come from different musical backgrounds, with Mark’s country rock roots providing contrast to Jay’s history as a “singer’s singer” and successful songwriter, it is those differences that make them such a powerful musical force.
Once their youngest child turned five, Jay began making inquiries about bringing the program to Tamworth, where she found that Tamworth City Council and United Way Australia were highly receptive to the idea.
We are so grateful to have Jay and Mark sharing their love for reading with us and helping to ensure children in Australia start school ready to thrive. Their vision and passion for Imagination Library has been a large part of its amazing success.
Contact us today and discover how you can get involved.