Joel Becker is former CEO of the Australian Booksellers Association (ABA) and Writers Victoria. Joel has been an active contributor to the Australian literary sector for more than 40 years as a bookseller, freelance writer, editor, and cultural project manager. A participant in the successful bid to make Melbourne a UNESCO City of Literature, he was integral in the development of the idea for the Wheeler Centre: Books, Writing and Ideas.
Joel has been a judge of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Emerging Victorian Writer and the Victorian Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction. He has been convening judge for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards for Fiction and for Poetry, and chair of the judging panel for the Douglas Stewart Prize in the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. Board participation has included the ABA, and numerous organisations including chairing Free Speech Victoria, Victorian Arts Industry Council, Australian Children’s Laureate Foundation. He was a member of the State Library of Victoria Writers and Readers Committee for 11 years and a board member of Going Down Swinging. He is a founder of an international alliance ofEnglish-speaking booksellers associations and member of the International Booksellers Federation.
As chief executive of the ABA, Joel was integral in the development of Love Your Bookshop, a campaign celebrating the role of bookshops in in the community and was actively involved with supporting the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. He is a tireless advocate to government and the literary industry around issues affecting bookselling and the literary sector.
In 2018 Joel was made a Life Member of Writers Victoria, and in 2019 of the Australian Booksellers Association . In 2020, he received an OAM for service to Australian literary organisations.