AustLit logo
Chief Minister's Book of the Year Award
Subcategory of Territory Read Book of the Year
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

Latest Winners / Recipients

Year: 2018

winner y separately published work icon Broken Mary Anne Butler , 2015 Strawberry Hills : Currency Press , 2016 9118571 2015 single work drama

'A car crash in the Central Desert. A broken man, about to leave his wife, who has a deep, dark secret of her own. Broken entwines the stories of three complex lives as they unfold on a single fateful night in the heart of the NT’s desert country.'

Source: Brown's Mart Theatre website. (Sighted: 7/12/2015)

Year: 2016

joint winner y separately published work icon Nona & Me Clare Atkins , Collingwood : Black Inc. , 2014 7988693 2014 single work children's fiction children's (taught in 1 units)

'Rosie and Nona are sisters. Yapas. They are also best friends. It doesn’t matter that Rosie is white and Nona is Aboriginal: their family connections tie them together for life.'

'The girls are inseparable until Nona moves away at the age of nine. By the time she returns, they’re in Year 10 and things have changed. Rosie prefers to hang out in the nearby mining town, where she goes to school with the glamorous Selena and her gorgeous older brother, Nick.'

'When a political announcement highlights divisions between the Aboriginal community and the mining town, Rosie is put in a difficult position: will she have to choose between her first love and her oldest friend?' (Source: Publishers website)

joint winner y separately published work icon Highway of Lost Hearts Mary Anne Butler , Nightcliff : 2012 7537682 2012 single work drama

'A woman. A dog. A campervan. And 4,500klm of wide open road.'

'Mot wakes up one morning to find that her heart is missing from her chest. She can breathe; she has a pulse - but she feels… nothing.'

'So, she decides to go and look for it. With her Dog enlisted as co-pilot, Mot heads down the Highway of Lost Hearts: into the deepest core of the Australian outback - navigating red dirt landscapes, fire and flood, brittle dry-ness, vast salt lakes, age-old mountains and murky waters filled with lost souls. And the further Mot drives into the deepest heart of Australia, the more she realises that everyone around her seems to be missing some vital part of themselves.'

'And then there’s the Dog - full of her own canine wisdom, and trying to guide Mot back on a course towards hope - if only Mot would listen better.'

'An allegory for a country that's lost its heart, Highway of Lost Hearts is half gritty road journey, half magic realism and all heart. It leaves you pondering the question: when your heart goes missing, what lengths will you go to, in order to find it again?' (Source: Cyberpaddock website)

Year: 2014

winner (Browns Mart Theatre Award) Mary Anne Butler For best script

Year: 2011

winner y separately published work icon The Hard Light of Day : An Artist's Story of Friendships in Arrernte Country Rod Moss , St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 2010 Z1688695 2010 single work autobiography

'Two years after artist Rod Moss arrived in Alice Springs to teach painting, he met an Indigenous couple who had set up camp in the gully beside his flat. Over the next twenty-five years, his friendship with Xavier and Petrina Neil and the friendships that grew from it with the families of Whitegate, an Arrernte camp on the outskirts of town, would nourish and challenge Moss beyond his imagining.

'The Hard Light of Day offers a rare insight into the reality of life in the Centre, from the contours of the MacDonnell Ranges and the textures and sounds of Arrernte culture, to the endemic violence, alcoholism and ill-health that continue to devastate Aboriginal lives. In recalling the relationships and experiences that have shaped his life and work in Alice Springs, Moss reveals the human face behind the statistics and celebrates the enriching, transformative power of friendship.

'Illustrated with Moss's evocative paintings and photographs, The Hard Light of Day is an incredible journey into a world never shown in the mainstream media, and an artist's chronicle of the moments that have inspired him.' (From the publisher's website.)