“The reader who helped grow a nation…”


Literacy pioneer

England / Vanuatu | Born 1940


Born in wartime England, Anne learned to read at night while hiding from enemy bomber planes. When she started school, she helped teach other children to read.

One day, Anne saw the sea for the first time and it awakened her strong spirit of adventure. She wanted to travel to places she had read about, but her family was very poor. Anne studied hard and won a scholarship to become a teacher. Now she could help others like her teachers had helped her.

When Anne was asked to teach English in the South Pacific for two years she thought, “Why not?” Finally, her dream of travelling and teaching would be realised! She arrived in the New Hebrides in 1964 to teach English to Melanesians, some of whom later became leaders of independent Vanuatu. Anne immediately fell in love with the islands (and a handsome islander named John, whom she married!) and decided to stay forever.

Anne helped start a new senior primary school at Lakatoro, Malekula, where she taught basic literacy. “Instilling a love of reading to children at a young age can take them far,” she says.

Anne has taught more than 3000 students, young and old, from all over the islands. Many have gone on to hold important positions in the Government, private sector and local communities.

Anne also helped re-establish the National Library and National Archives, helping and training others to safeguard Vanuatu’s historical records. “Reading is power,” she says. “It reminds us where we come from and enables us to open up our own world to endless possibilities.”



“Reading opens up new worlds.”

Anne Naupa


Author            :           Anne Naupa 

Artist              :           Ava Howlett


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