About Us

A short history of Australian Standing Orders

In the late 1970s, Standing Orders was commenced in Australia by Darren Ryan (an ex-teacher/librarian) and Ken Jolly (an ex-teacher, now Chairman of Scholastic Australia). The service was established to provide teachers and librarians with the best newly-published children's books, complete with teaching notes. The service was run out of Dromkeen, the National Centre for Picture Book Art, then part of Oldmeadow Booksellers. Dromkeen, a national treasure, is wholly funded and supported by Scholastic and is among the most renowned children's literature collections in the world.

A decade passed and Scholastic Australia purchased M&M Educational Supplies located on Queensland's Sunshine Coast from Ron and Jan McCarthy. M&M was a complementary school supply business to Oldmeadows in Victoria. Ron and Jan wished to stay as part of Scholastic and having heard of the established Standing Order service, requested to be involved for northern NSW and Queensland.

A couple of years later, Ron and Jan, while running Sunshine Book Fairs for Scholastic, asked Scholastic to permit them to market Australian Standing Orders nationally. This arrangement continued until Ron's resignation from Scholastic in 2010.

ASO was conceptualised by Scholastic and has always been run under Scholastic management. Editorial credibility is the cornerstone of this service and Scholastic's own published books are subject to the same selection process as books from any other publisher.

Scholastic is proud of ASO's history and acceptance by Australian schools and we are determined to not only continue, but to improve our service going forward. We are pleased that Belinda Bolliger has joined the ASO team as Editorial Manager. Belinda has many years of children's publishing experience in senior roles with well-known Australian publishers and is ideally placed to guarantee that our selections are the best the publishing industry can offer.

The ASO Team

Many of you know our dedicated Sales and Customer Service professionals, Cathie Stone and Helene Charles, who continue to work and reside on the beautiful Sunshine Coast. Cathie and Helene, who have been delivering friendly service to ASO customers for 17 years, are now supported by Joan Lamb in our Lisarow office. Joan has extensive experience in delivering sales and service support to Australian schools.

The selection of books for ASO is the cornerstone of our service and ASO's Editorial Manager, Belinda Bolliger, is ideally placed to ensure that our selections are the best that the publishing industry can offer.

Belinda writes,'I have been working in children's publishing for over 20 years. I began my publishing career as an editor on magazines for teachers and children, before moving to Harcourt Brace as an acquisitions editor for Primary school publications. I then worked at Hodder Headline (now Hachette Australia), where I was children's publisher for eleven years, publishing authors and illustrators such as Alison Lester, Garry Disher, Gary Crew, Libby Hathorn, Geoffrey McSkimming and Colin Thompson. I left Hachette to focus on my young family and to set up My First Bookshelf, an online bookshop for parents of young children. I then accepted a position at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation as children's publisher for ABC Books. I managed the licensed list (Play School, The Wiggles and various ABC television tie-ins) and extended the ABC's trade children's list, publishing award-winning titles including Perry Angel's Suitcase by Glenda Millard, Parsley Rabbit's Book about Books by Frances Watts and David Legge, and Applesauce and the Christmas Miracle by Glenda Millard and Stephen Michael King.'

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