Notes from the National Board


As you will remember, a decision was made at the AGM to establish two working parties and they will provide a preliminary report to the Board meeting in November. This meeting will be a strategy-planning meeting, and will take place over a day and a half in Melbourne. Collaborative work on the goals of the CBCA between Board and Branches is particularly important in achieving our goals.

I would also like to record a special vote of thanks to members of the NSW Branch, especially Gail Erskine and Felicity Jagavkar for all they did to ensure a wonderfully successful CBCA AWARDS CEREMONY. We were honoured to have His Excellency, General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AKMC (Retd) Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, and Her Excellency Lady Cosgrove, attend the Awards. His Excellency presented the Awards. It was a wonderful morning of celebration of the creative talent of Australian authors and illustrators for children and young adults.




Of great interest to all who attended the Awards was the display of historical CBCA Book Week posters organised by the NSW Branch. It provided a wonderful survey of the development and increasing sophistication of children’s literature illustration and production over the years since the inception of the Awards. It was also a fitting tribute to 70 years of the Awards.

Of course as soon as one year’s judging finishes, another starts. This year we have the new system of five judging panels and they have all been working hard reading, reporting on and discussing the books entered into ‘their’ category. The National office has been kept busy (along with everything else they do on behalf of us all) sending packages of books all round the country. The intranet site Justine Power set up has been working well as a place to exchange ideas, news and meeting dates. Justine and Rosemary Thomas have both also been working hard liaising with the judges and providing and advice and information.

The PARTNERSHIPS COMMITTEE has been very active in developing relationships with suitable organisations which will provide mutual benefits for the CBCA as a whole. This is an area which has not always been strongly promoted in the past so this is important work.

The Victorian Branch is currently considering options for the organisation of the CBCA 13TH NATIONAL CONFERENCE in 2018. A full proposal will be presented to the Board before the end of this year. We will be sure to give you definite dates as soon as they become available so that you can put a ‘save the date’ in your diaries.

Finally, I am grateful to all the members of the Board and Branches for the amount of time and dedication they give to the work of the Children’s Book Council of Australia – all, of course, done in a voluntary capacity.

Margot Hillel



We’re working with multi-award-winning illustrator Freya Blackwood on a stunning range of merchandise to celebrate Children’s Book Week 2017. With the slogan of ESCAPE TO EVERYWHERE Freya is letting her imagination run wild with lots of children having fun. Our merchandise seems to be getting better and better, so we hope the items we produce for this range will sell like hot cakes! We’re planning on the usual two posters, badges, stickers, Book Week Handbook and this year’s success story - Bunting. CBCA Branches will have first option on purchases.




Australian children’s book author and illustrator Narelle Oliver has died. This is very sad news for all who enjoy Australian children’s books.

Her books have received numerous awards including: the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Picture Book of the Year; CBCA Book of the Year for Early Childhood; CBCA Eve Pownall Award for Information Books; NSW Premier’s Literature Award for Children’s Literature; and Wilderness Society Environment Award for Children’s Literature.

Narelle was the creator of a number of picture books, including The Best Beak in Boonaroo Bay, The Hunt, Sand Swimmers, The Very Blue Thingamajig, Dancing the Boom-chacha Boogie, Home, Fox and Fine Feathers and Don’t Let a Spoonbill in the Kitchen. She also collaborated on numerous children’s books, including The Bunyip and the Night and What a Goat!



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