An understanding of the relationship between Rising Heart and its author Aminata Conteh-Biger and the Aminata Maternal Foundation


The Aminata Maternal Foundation (the Foundation) wishes to outline/clarify its relationship with Aminata Conteh-Biger (Aminata), concerning her book Rising Heart.

Aminata is Founder and CEO (paid, part-time) of the Aminata Maternal Foundation as well as a Director of the Board.  Separately, she is the author of Rising Heart to be published by Pan Macmillan (the Publisher) in August 2020.  Aminata has a contract with Pan Macmillan regarding the book, and this does not involve the Aminata Maternal Foundation.

The Foundation notes that Rising Heart contains many references to the Foundation, and that it dedicates a chapter to the history and work of the Foundation.  The book also contains a personal pledge from Aminata Conteh-Biger to donate a percentage of her royalties to the Foundation.

The Foundation expects to benefit from the publication of the book and the publicity it generates, and notes that Aminata has declared her intention of using this publicity to promote the Foundation wherever possible.  There will be times where it is difficult to separate the promotion of the book from promotion of the Foundation.  For example, some of the media will include both Aminata and other Foundation Directors (The Good Weekend’s The Two of Us will feature Aminata and Foundation Chair Penny Gerstle).  In such cases, where the Foundation deems it appropriate, the Foundation may pay reasonable costs for Aminata only, such as local transport. 

Where costs are incurred for the writing, printing, promotion and sale of Rising Heart, or in other unforeseen circumstances arising from Rising Heart, those will be a matter between Aminata and the Publisher.  The Foundation will not incur nor pay any such costs.

The Foundation intends to help promote Rising Heart, via its website, in social media posts, at events and other fundraising activities, and in other ways as it sees fit and in consultation with Aminata, and expects both Aminata and the Foundation to benefit as a result.  The Foundation will pay the costs of its events and other activities as per usual.  The Foundation intends to buy copies of Rising Heart from the Publisher, at half the retail cost, as set out in the contract between Aminata and the Publisher.  They will be on-sold at a minimum of retail cost or as otherwise decided by the Foundation.  In some cases they will be gifted to supporters of the Foundation.

Friends of Aminata, many of whom are associated with the Foundation, including directors, committee members and donors, have formed a committee called The Rising Heart Committee, which sits outside the Foundation.  This Committee will support Aminata in her efforts to promote the book.  The Foundation will not incur, nor pay costs as a result of the work of the Committee, except where the Committee and the Foundation jointly hold a fundraising event.  At any such event all proceeds will go to the Foundation, including sale of books purchased at half the retail value from the Publisher.  The Foundation will not pay Aminata for her appearance, her time being donated to the Foundation by the author.

Please do not hesitate to contact Penny Gerstle, Foundation Chair on 0408 29 11 96 should you wish to discuss this further, from the Foundation’s perspective.