Jennie Orchard has been involved with the world of writers, books and publishing for 40 years, initially in London, later in Australia and Asia. Since 2002 she has been actively involved in the non-profit sector, with a small portfolio of commitments but a particular focus on global literacy nonprofit, Room to Read. 2008 – 2012 she led the team which established Room to Read’s fundraising presence in Australia. In 2010 Jennie was appointed Room to Read’s inaugural Development Director in Australasia but since 2012 has been based overseas and has worked on building international as well as local connections with writers, literary agents, publishers, booksellers, librarians and teachers interested in helping to promote Room to Read.
In 2020 Weidenfeld & Nicolson (in London) and Hachette (in Australia) released an anthology curated by Jennie called The Gifts of Reading. This was inspired by British writer Robert Macfarlane and includes 23 essays by authors including William Boyd, Roddy Doyle, Jan Morris, Michael Ondaatje and Philip Pullman. Three Australian writers contributed: Sisonke Msimang, Alice Pung and Markus Zusak. All royalties from The Gifts of Reading are generously donated to Room to Read which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2020.