News from the Board

CBCA BOARD BULLETIN, Number 10  June 2016



Many of you were lucky enough to be able to attend the National Conference held at the Menzies Hotel in Sydney. I’m sure all of you who were there would agree that it was a wonderful event. Sessions were varied and interesting; all the plenary sessions were really memorable; the trade display was fantastic and it was marvellous to have the well-stocked bookshop on-site. Thank you to all who participated for a stimulating few days.

At the conference we were able to thank those outgoing judges who were there and to welcome

some of the incoming judges. Some of the outgoing judges had served in that role for 3 years – a wonderful commitment. We thank all the judges – incoming and outgoing – for their willingness to act in this capacity on behalf of us all. The coming judging round will be the first time the new process has been used.

You will have received a feedback form in your email and we would be very grateful if you would

complete it. It is really helpful for planning for the 2018 conference if we know what worked and what didn’t work so well and if people would like to have some different sessions.

Thank you once again to the organising committee; it really was a great partnership between members of the Board and members of the NSW Branch.


A very successful AGM was held in Melbourne at the end of April. This is an important occasion for the CBCA as branches and the Board come together to discuss the work of the CBCA.As well as the formal business which needs to be conducted at such a meeting, it gives us the opportunity for strategic discussions. We were also able to attend a dinner together. Following the AGM a

Board meeting was held the next day. These face-to-face meetings are invaluable in allowing the Board to come together to plan future directions for the CBCA.

One of the decisions taken at the AGM was to establish two working parties. These would have both Board and branch representation. The future viability of the CBCA depends on financial stability and one of the working parties will consider strategies to try to ensure this. It will be led by Angela Briant, who is convenor of the Board’s Finance Committee. The other, to be led by Cam Jones, will revise the constitution.

2016 BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARDS PRESENTATION - OUR 70th. Preparations are continuing for the Awards Ceremony to be held in Sydney on Friday, 19 August at the NSW Teachers’ Federation Auditorium in Surry Hills. As some of you already know, we are honoured that the Governor-General and Lady Cosgrove have agreed to attend the ceremony where Sir Peter will present the prizes.

NEW BOARD MEMBER. Unfortunately, following the AGM, we had to bid a fond farewell to Ray Pincombe who has resigned from the Board as South Australia’s representative. All of us on the Board have appreciated Ray’s wise contributions to the work of the Board. His wide-ranging corporate and governance knowledge through his long experience in local government was invaluable.

Welcome to Linda Guthrie, who is from 24 June, South Australia’s new representative on the Board. Linda is currently a teacher-librarian in a secondary school and has previously been a teacher-librarian in a primary school so she brings a breadth of experience to the Board. We look forward to working with her.

Margot Hillel


There’s always a mixed reaction to changes of any kind. This was the case this year when the Notable Books List was released and the Short List was announced a month later at the conference. There was some criticism of this decision as it cut a month out of the time between the Short List and the Awards Announcement. On the other hand there was great excitement in Melbourne on the ‘Night of the Notables’.

Many people, especially authors, illustrators and publishers, appreciated their ‘moment in the sun’

with the Notables being celebrated nationally, especially on social media and sales were brisk on the Reading Time ‘buy now’ link. Then the announcement of the Short List at the Conference was hugely successful.

So now that both announcements are ‘in the bag’ it looks like this timetabling will be a permanent fixture. These are some very encouraging comments we’ve received: ‘Could you please pass on my comments about the timing of the Notable list this year. In the past I have focused so heavily on the Short List that I have taken little notice of the Notable list. Getting the Short List read seems to become the priority. Because the list has been released a month earlier than the Short List I find that I am now pouring over and reading this list in a way I usually only do with the Short List. It also means that I am purchasing from the whole list. It’s an excellent list and it is a shame that it has tended to be overshadowed. I understand that the timing this year was in relation to the conference, but I would suggest that the committee seriously consider maintaining this time difference. In many ways I believe it creates even more excitement and anticipation for the release of the Short List’. (Newcastle City Library)

‘I wanted to mention that the new way of announcing the Notables is fabulous and results in everyone celebrating the long list. Such a great change.’ (Susanne Gervay, President of SCBWI)

STOP PRESS! The full Notables list with Judges’ annotations has now been added to the CBCA National Website - in the Members Only section. It is also available of course in the CBCA OFFICIAL BOOK WEEK HANDBOOK. This valuable resource provides information from Shaun Tan about the iconic Australia picture books he has reference on this year’s poster, plus classroom activities and teachers’ notes.


This year’s spectacular merchandise, with artwork by Shaun Tan, received an enthusiastic and sold-out welcome when it was launched at the Conference.


Well before the announcement of the 2016 Book of the Year Awards, the Board Awards Committee is hard at work on the 2017 awards. There are now two deadlines for entries from publishers: 30 June for books published 1 January to 30 June and 30 November for books published 1 July to 31 December. Entries have already been sent to judges and they have begun reading.


It was exciting to read The Queen’s Birthday Honours List. There was John Cohen’s name: The Reverend Dr John Authur Cohen OAM - for services to children’s literature and to the community. Congratulations to John with our thanks for all the dedicated work, especially on ‘Reading Time’. Spread the word!

6. NATIONAL OFFICE. The National Office has been keeping very busy with the business of the Board, managing the estore and merchandise distribution as well as receiving and administering entries for the 2017 Book of the Year Awards. Shannon King commenced work as Awards Assistant in early March (welcome Shannon!) and has embraced her new role, cataloguing and distributing to judges the first entries for the 2017 awards. She has also offered invaluable assistance in the project management of the merchandise distribution. This year’s merchandise is distributed by the Endeavour Foundation

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