Sunday, November 13, 2011

Dolly's efforts to expand Imagination Library land foundation president in Australia!

Dolly has made her way to beautiful Australia where she is wowing fans on stage as part of her Better Day world tour but she's not just pickin' and grinnin'. Dolly is on a mission with her friend, David Dotson (president of The Dollywood Foundation)!
That mission is to figure out how they can make her Imagination Library available to the children of Australia!

This blog post is a chronicle of David Dotson's (DD) travels across the country to try and make Dolly Parton's Imagination Library a reality in Australia.


Well on the next to the last day it finally happened- kangaroo sighting!

Belinda Metcalfe took me to an abandoned psychiatric hospital where hundreds of these critters were gathered.

We even saw a couple of them box each other.

So I am about to begin the 25 hour journey home. It's been great and there is certainly great interest in Dolly's Imagination Library!

So now the decision process begins-this is a long way away but one thing is for sure -we know how to make the seemingly impossible possible!

So stay tuned cause you will be the first to know.


It's a bright,sunny morning in Perth and just finished a good meeting with bright,sunny people.

Sue Dixon from Perth United Way pulled together the meeting and once again, the reception was Aussie good!

Always struck by the irony that I sit here working off an iphone with people all over the world, yet it seems the whole world is worried that so many children simply cannot read at grade level. Talk about the haves and the have nots - technology is great for us chosen few but here sits a huge number if children with no books and no joy for learning. It makes me queasy - or it could be the wrap I just wolfed down. Better eat now cause it's a 4 hour flight to Sydney and Virgin charges for everything-including water.

Mark my word-pay toilets on planes are coming soon! Tomorrow is the Dolly show in Sydney-a nice end to a very long day


Today is a day off-although I never stop thinking about how Dolly Parton's Imagination Library will or won't work here.
Headed to the end of the earth -southwestern Australia --the Margaret River area is just beautiful. Although no kangaroo has introduced himself to me, I did hear a kookaburra. The bird sounds like a maniacal monkey!
Next stop today is a lighthouse that sits at the meeting of the Indian and Southern oceans- a great place to contemplate the mystery of the universe. Tomorrow are meetings in Perth and then fly back to Sydney.
Next year is the National Year of Reading in Australia so if we do move forward- then this would be a perfect time to do it! .....DD

After two days of meetings it is clear that the Imagination Library and Australia are a perfect match.....but will it be affordable for communities? Books are expensive here! The folks here are warm and friendly.
These are the wonderful people from Kiwanis who along with Rotary and United Way have extended a most gracious welcome to me. If we look happy it's because we just finished off a feast of Chinese food. I had fried green beans and pork but lisa's dish took top honors--- deep fried duck with dumplings! I'm starting to think those ducks swimming in the river by the office may have another purpose in life. On to Perth!.........DD


After a 25 hour journey from  Sevierville to Sydney I finally landed on Wednesday. I wonder how many people have made this same journey from Sevierville????

My mission is to see whether or not we are wanted and needed in Australia. My first meeting required a ferry ride across the harbor and look what I found-- the iconic Opera House!

Tomorrow is a big meeting organized by Doug Taylor of United Way. He is a great guy and clearly a man who sees tomorrow as clear as he sees today. United Way is an important partner in our work so here they are again-lending a helping hand.

Tomorrow the search begins to find a kangaroo......DD