Trainee Bookstore Manager
(0.8 FTE/4 days each week)

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Learn to lead LOST IN BOOKS!

This is a special opportunity for a remarkable person from Western Sydney to combine their love for children’s literature and commercial flair, with a dedication to learn.

You will train to become a leading bookseller, bookstore manager and literary programmer from some of Sydney’s leading books and publishing professionals.
Read on to learn more…


LOST IN BOOKS is a children’s bookshop, cafe and all-ages creative hub that builds community. It’s a kids’ bookshop that speaks your language in Sydney’s South West.

LOST IN BOOKS is a social enterprise that celebrates the power of speaking more than one language, and the unifying potential of the arts to bring people together. We run a beautiful and beguiling multilingual kids’ bookshop in the Fairfield CBD, in South Western Sydney. LOST IN BOOKS offers a regular free creative program that targets women and children both in-store, and through  outreach in public schools with high levels of newly arrived refugee students in South Western Sydney. From 2019, LOST IN BOOKS’ outreach capacity will grow with the addition of an outreach vehicle (“The People Movers”), a mobile arts centre (“The Universe of Possibilities”), and a musical program (“Sound System”).

LOST IN BOOKS is a project of the Think+DO Tank Foundation, a registered charity.

LOST IN BOOKS provides:

  • a high quality multilingual children’s bookshop for children and new adult readers

  • a creative learning, literacy & language exchange hub

  • an outreach program reaching into schools in South Western Sydney and beyond, and

  • a café and safer women’s space at which women can access high quality assistance from bi-lingual staff who can provide translation, information, brokerage, referrals, and assistance, including emergency assistance in relation to family violence, discretely and safely.

LOST IN BOOKS is a new but highly impactful community hub. In our first eighteen months of operation, we reached:

  • attendances of more than 1420 children and 1595 women through our in-store programming

  • attendances of more than 1800 newly arrived refugee students (K-6) and their families, through our outreach creative program, Wandering Books, with Western Sydney MRC

  • engaged more than 190 local people as volunteers

  • supported five teams of artists in residence to develop new bi-lingual children’s books

  • generated casual employment for 12 local people and ongoing employment for 5 local people.

You can review our impact statement for 2018 here.

We have a growing collection of high-quality books from around the world. Originally, we focused our collections upon local community languages: English, Arabic, Vietnamese, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Spanish and Hindi. The collection is now more than 40 languages strong, and growing.

LOST IN BOOKS values inclusiveness, generosity, participation and fun. We are enablers of local people’s dreams for themselves.


Purpose: We are searching for an entrepreneurial, determined and resourceful trainee bookstore manager who, under the leadership of our experienced staff, will help the LOST IN BOOKS social enterprise to:

  • operate a successful retail operation, in-store and online, growing revenues and expanding revenue channels

  • source and offer to our customers the best children’s literature from Australia, and from around the world

  • connect authors with our audiences, and help them to attract new audiences

  • contribute to the efficacy of our paid and volunteer staff

  • implement our systems and processes in order to produce consistently high-quality outcomes

  • grow as a community hub of creativity, connection and to become known as a local venue for arts and live performance

  • strengthen our relationships with key stakeholders in the community, and in the books and publishing sector.

About you: We are searching for a talented, experienced and resourceful person with a love of reading and of children’s literature in particular; a passion for books, and for growing businesses.

Selection Criteria

The ideal candidate has these attributes, skills and experience:

  • lives, studies or works in Western Sydney;

  • experience in retail settings and a commitment to serving customers

  • experience in living, studying or working in culturally and linguistically diverse settings

  • ambition, resourcefulness and ability to solve problems independently

  • working effectively in collaborative teams

  • working effectively in high-paced environments

  • ability to communicate (speak and write) in a community language. Community languages include Arabic, Vietnamese, Assyrian, Cantonese, and Spanish (and almost 200 others!), and

  • understanding of confidentiality.

Desirable skills include –

  • demonstrated success in communications and marketing campaigns

  • experience in reporting on social impacts.

Details of the role

This role reports directly to the LOST IN BOOKS Captain of Commerce (Liz Allen), and indirectly to the Think+DO Tank Foundation’s Creative Director (Jane Stratton) and Board. The Trainee Bookstore Manager will be trained directly by Liz Allen, a bookseller, publisher and poet with more than 20 years’ experience in the books and publishing industry.

This role collaborates closely with the Communicator-in-Chief (Danni Townsend), and with the Community Connectors (Afaf Al-Shammari; Ginan Yelda; Maria Barahona (volunteer), volunteer retail assistants, and Creative Director (Jane Stratton) of LOST IN BOOKS.

Think+DO Tank Foundation is a registered charity with an independent Board. We work to increase the capabilities of local people in South Western Sydney to diagnose their own challenges and access the skills and pathways needed to make life better for themselves, together. 

Salary expectations: Salary will be negotiated according to the successful applicant’s skills and experience.   

Note that as part of salary packages, Think+DO Tank Foundation can offer up to $15,900 salary packaging per annum. This means, in addition to the statutory tax-free threshold, Think+DO Tank Foundation can offer up to $15,900 p.a. paid before tax, provided it is paid to an existing liability (eg, rent; mortgage; credit card; HECS debt, etc).

All staff at LOST IN BOOKS are required to hold Working with Children and police checks as appropriate, and to participate in induction and training sessions to ensure LOST IN BOOKS is a welcome, inclusive, safe and creative community hub for all. 

This role will be subject to performance reviews and a probationary period. Think+DO Tank Foundation invests in the development of all its team members. You can expect to have access to opportunities to develop professionally, and to be challenged through your daily work.

How to apply

Send a cover page (no more than 2 A4 pages) with a CV (no more than 2 A4 pages) to, Attn: HIRE ME.