Gillian Mears is the winner of the 2012 ALS Gold Medal for her novel Foal’s Bread. All three of Mears’s novels are now major award winners. Her first, The Mint Lawn (1991), won the Australian / Vogel National Literary Award in 1990 and her second, The Grass Sister (1995), won the Commonwealth Writers Prize, South-East Asia and South Pacific Region, in 1996.
The ALS Gold Medal, administered by the Association for the Study of Australian Literature (ASAL), was announced during the 2012 ASAL Conference in Wellington, New Zealand. The Gold Medal is presented annually ‘for an outstanding literary work in the preceding calendar year’. This year's judges wrote that ‘Mears’s narrative weaves seamlessly the great tragedies of both World Wars with the more intimate suffering experienced by an extended farming family of horse breeders and show jumpers ... At the heart of this novel is the love story of Noah [Childs] and Roley Nancarrow, a story of wondrous beauty and destructive waste.’ (Judges' citation)
Mears is also shortlisted for the 2012 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. The winners of those awards will be announced by Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Arts Minister Simon Crean on 23 July 2012.