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New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards
or NSW Premier's Literary Awards
Subcategory of Awards Australian Awards
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History

'The NSW Premier’s Literary Awards are presented by the NSW Government and administered by the State Library in association with Create NSW. The NSW Government is committed to increasing public engagement with the arts. The NSW Premier’s Literary Awards provide an opportunity to highlight the importance of literacy and to encourage everyone to enjoy and learn from the work of our writers. These annual awards honour distinguished achievement by Australian writers, contribute to Australia’s artistic reputation, and draw international attention to some of our best writers and to the cultural environment that nurtures them.' (https://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/about-library/awards/about-awards)

Winners (also see subcategories)v1026

2007 winner Young People's Category y separately published work icon Songlines and Stone Axes : Transport, Trade and Travel in Australia John Nicholson , Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2007 Z1456174 2007 single work non-fiction children's Magical pearl-shell pendants, greenstone axe-heads, belts made of human hair, outriggers for canoes, songs and dances, body paint, feathers, extra strong glue, cloaks made of 80 possum skins sewn with kangaroo sinew. these and hundreds of other items were traded around Australia before white settlement. Some were carried on foot over huge distances, through many lands and languages. When food was plentiful, several groups might gather for ceremonies and to swap goods at large markets. All this happened without money - until the Macassans and then the Europeans arrived. - from book jacket.
2002 winner Special Award Thea Astley To mark her lifetime's achievement in literature.
2001 winner Non-Fiction y separately published work icon Craft for a Dry Lake Kim Mahood , Sydney : Anchor , 2000 Z997375 2000 single work autobiography (taught in 4 units) In Craft for a Dry Lake, Kim Mahood embarks on an extraordinary journey to her heartland - the outback of her youth. Compelled to revisit the haunts of her childhood by the tragic death of her father, Kim seeks to lay his ghost to rest, but instead finds herself faced with many of her own. Her adventures are interwoven with the echoes of childhood memories and peopled by an intriguing cast of outback characters. At times the lines between past and present become blurred as a daughter travels in the footsteps of her father, searching for a sense of place in this landscape she once called home. (Source: Trove)
2001 winner Script Writing Award form y separately published work icon Rabbit-Proof Fence Christine Olsen , ( dir. Phillip Noyce ) Australia : Rumbalara Films Olsen Levy Productions , 2002 Z919523 2002 single work film/TV (taught in 15 units)

Based on real life events that occurred in 1931, Rabbit-Proof Fence is the story of three mixed-race Aboriginal children who are forcibly abducted from their mothers by the Western Australian government. Molly (aged fourteen), her sister Daisy (aged eight), and their cousin Gracie (aged ten) are taken from their homes at Jigalong, situated in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, at the orders of the Protector of Aborigines, A.O. Neville, and sent to an institution at Moore River to be educated and trained as domestic servants. After a few days, Molly leads the other two girls in an escape. What ensues is an epic journey that tests the girls' will to survive and their hope of finding the rabbit-proof fence to guide them home.

Although they are pursued by the institution's Aboriginal tracker and the police, Molly knows enough about bush craft to help them hide their tracks. They head east in search of the world's longest fence - built to keep rabbits out - because Molly knows that this will lead them back to Jigalong. Over the course of nine weeks, the girls walk almost 2,400 kilometres before Gracie is captured attempting to catch a train. Molly and Daisy avoid capture but eventually collapse from exhaustion on the saltpans not far from Jigalong. When they wake, they see the spirit bird, an eagle, flying overhead. Its significance gives the girls the extra energy they need and they are able to make it back to their home.

2001 winner Special Award Ron Pretty
2001 winner Ethel Turner Prize for Books for Young Adults y separately published work icon Feeling Sorry for Celia Jaclyn Moriarty , South Yarra : Pan Macmillan Australia , 2000 Z396327 2000 single work novel young adult

'Life is pretty complicated for Elizabeth Clarry. Her best friend Celia keeps disappearing, her absent father suddenly reappears, and her communication with her mother consists entirely of wacky notes left on the fridge. On top of everything else, because her English teacher wants to rekindle the "Joy of the Envelope," a Complete and Utter Stranger knows more about Elizabeth than anyone else.

'But Elizabeth is on the verge of some major changes. She may lose her best friend, find a wonderful new friend, kiss the sexiest guy alive, and run in a marathon. So much can happen in the time it takes to write a letter... ' (Publication summary)

2000 winner Script Writing Award form y separately published work icon Looking for Alibrandi Melina Marchetta , ( dir. Kate Woods ) Australia : Robyn Kershaw Productions , 2000 Z1795269 2000 single work film/TV young adult (taught in 2 units)

'Nonna Katia, Christina and Josie are three generations of Italian-Australian women living together in a hothouse atmosphere of love, support...and drama on an operatic scale.'

Source: Screen Australia. (Sighted: 23/10/2012)

2000 winner Book of the Year y separately published work icon The Binna Binna Man Meme McDonald , Boori Pryor , St Leonards : Allen and Unwin , 1999 Z492840 1999 single work novel young adult (taught in 7 units) 'The powerful story of an Aboriginal teenage boy who is caught between the attractions of city life and the ways of his people. After a terrifying encounter with the Binna Binna man he knows what he must do in order to be true to himself.' Source: Libraries Australia.
2000 winner Ethnic Affairs Commission Award y separately published work icon The Binna Binna Man Meme McDonald , Boori Pryor , St Leonards : Allen and Unwin , 1999 Z492840 1999 single work novel young adult (taught in 7 units) 'The powerful story of an Aboriginal teenage boy who is caught between the attractions of city life and the ways of his people. After a terrifying encounter with the Binna Binna man he knows what he must do in order to be true to himself.' Source: Libraries Australia.
2000 winner Ethel Turner Prize for young people's literature y separately published work icon The Binna Binna Man Meme McDonald , Boori Pryor , St Leonards : Allen and Unwin , 1999 Z492840 1999 single work novel young adult (taught in 7 units) 'The powerful story of an Aboriginal teenage boy who is caught between the attractions of city life and the ways of his people. After a terrifying encounter with the Binna Binna man he knows what he must do in order to be true to himself.' Source: Libraries Australia.
2000 winner Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children's Literature y separately published work icon The Spangled Drongo : A Verse Novel Steven Herrick , St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 1999 Z359219 1999 single work novel young adult Twelve-year-old Sam has soccer fever. He lives with eccentric Auntie Amshara and Ronaldo his dog. His best friend is Goose, Captain of the local soccer team, that is, until soccer crazed Jessica Bowles moves in next door. Sam soon discovers that there's more to life than just soccer.
2000 winner Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry y separately published work icon Mines Jennifer Maiden , North Ryde : Paper Bark Press , 1999 Z208519 1999 selected work poetry
2000 winner Non-Fiction y separately published work icon Stravinsky's Lunch Drusilla Modjeska , Sydney : Picador , 1999 Z892999 1999 single work biography (taught in 1 units)
2000 joint winner Gleebooks Prize for Short Story In the Heart of the Sky Gillian Mears , 2000 single work short story
— Appears in: Heat , no. 15 2000; (p. 115-127) A Map of the Gardens : Stories 2002; (p. 76-94)
2000 Special Award Dorothy Hewett
1999 winner Ethnic Affairs Commission Award y separately published work icon Mortal Divide : The Autobiography Of Yiorgos Alexandrolou George Alexander , Rose Bay : Brandl and Schlesinger , 1997 Z840846 1997 single work novel autobiography
1999 winner The Ethel Turner Prize for Young People's Literature y separately published work icon The Divine Wind Garry Disher , Sydney : Hodder Headline , 1998 Z268319 1998 single work novel historical fiction young adult (taught in 8 units)

'Friendship is a slippery notion. We lose friends as we change and our friends don't, or as we form other alliances, or as we betray our friends or are ourselves betrayed ...

'Alice, Hartley, Mitsy and Jamie are kids growing up in Broome before the Second World War. Their lives, although very different, are bound by friendship. Hartley and Alice Penrose are the children of an uneducated pearling master and a cultivated, disgruntled mother. Mitsy Sennosuke is Japanese, the daughter of Zeke, a diver working for Hartley and Alice's father, and Sadako, who makes soy sauce in a tin shed factory. Jamie Kilian is the son of a local magistrate, recently moved north from the city. Together, they unconsciously cross the boundaries of class and race, as they swim, joke and watch films in the cinema in Sheba Lane.

'But these happy, untroubled times end when lives are lost in a terrible cyclone, Alice falls for a wealthy cattleman pilot, a young woman is assaulted, and Hartley and Jamie compete for the love of Mitsy. The Second World War brings further strain into their lives. The four friends are no longer children but old enough to fight for their country. As Japanese bombs begin to fall like silver rain on northern Australia, loyalties are divided and friendships take on an altogether different form …

'This thrilling and beautifully written new novel from Garry Disher evokes an era of Australia caught up in the events of war and its effects on people torn apart from all they know and hold dear in childhood.' (Source: Publisher's website)

1999 winner Christina Stead Prize for Fiction y separately published work icon Mr Darwin's Shooter Roger McDonald , Milsons Point : Knopf , 1998 Z494491 1998 single work novel historical fiction

'Last century Charles Darwin set out on a voyage in the Beagle that would change forever the way human history was viewed. It was on this voyage that Darwin collected the information that gave birth to his controversial Theory of Evolution.

'This is a novel of scientific discovery, of religious faith, of masters and servants, and of the endless wonder of the natural world. But its greatest triumph is Covington himself, the boy who looked up at the beckoning figure of a yellow-haired Christian in the stained glass window in his boyhood church of Bedford, and sought to follow.

'He leaves Bedford as a lad of 13 and goes to sea with the evangelical sailor John Phipps and becomes one of Phipps' 'lads'. But Phipps' catechising can't repress Covington's passage into manhood, nor prevent him chasing the exotic native maidens of Tierra del Fuego. When next he returns to sea it is to serve on the Beagle.

'Mr Darwin's Shooter re-creates the voyage of the Beagle, where Covington spends time exploring – and collecting specimens – inland. And we travel on to the Galapagos Islands, with their huge turtles and armadillos and remarkable finches. Years later, in Sydney's Watson's Bay in beset middle age, Covington awaits the arrival of the first copy of Darwin's The Origin of Species, which contains the scandalous theory of evolution. What part of his life might be in it? What truths may it contain? How can one man absorb the meaning of Creation?' (Publication summary)

1999 winner Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children's Literature y separately published work icon Antonio S. and the Mystery of Theodore Guzman Odo Hirsch , Carlton North : Allen and Unwin , 1997 Z833914 1997 single work children's fiction children's mystery Antonio S. is a boy who knows all sorts of things. He lives at the top of a grand old house with his magician father and doctor mother. But who is Theodore Guzman, the secretive old man who lives downstairs? Antonio explores a secret passage that leads to the very heart of the house where the magical world of Theodore Guzman comes to life.
1999 winner Drama y separately published work icon Box the Pony Leah Purcell , Scott Rankin , 1997 Sydney : Hodder Headline , 1999 Z114430 1997 single work drama (taught in 4 units)

One-woman play, written by and for Leah Purcell, which draws on her experiences growing up, her relationship with her mother, and the contrast between her country upbringing and city life.

1999 winner Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry y separately published work icon Race against Time : Poems Lee Cataldi , Ringwood : Penguin , 1998 Z245250 1998 selected work poetry

'Race against Time vigorously and clearly apprehends the facts of mortality while eschewing the conceit of human centrality. Even if hardly prolific, Lee Cataldi is nonetheless one of our wisest and most striking poetic voices, evoking a spontaneous, unforced engagement with life and death'. (McLaren, Greg. 'Race against Time.' Southerly 58.4 (1998): 219.

1998 winner y separately published work icon Paradise Mislaid : In Search of the Australian Tribe of Paraguay Anne Whitehead , St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 1997 Z54351 1997 single work biography

'Winner 1998 NSW Premier's Australian History Award. Also shortlisted in the 1998 Kibble and Dobbie Awards, and the 1997 Age Book of the Year selection. "An erudic, beautifully researched work of history which knits together the stories of Paraquay and Australian emigration as a quest for Utopia." Judges' comment - 1998 NSW Premiers Award. In the 1890s a brave band of ordinary Australians sailed out through Sydney Heads, to found a socialist Utopia in South America. Under the charismatic William Lane, over 500 settlers created a "New Australia" in the Paraguayan jungle. Their hopes soon collapsed in turmoil. many, including Mary Gilmore, returned home. Others stayed on wit their families, learning Spanish and the Indian language and becoming part of the culture of their adopted country. These descendants of socialists also endured the longest surviving right-wing dictatorship in the Western hemisphere.' (Publication summary)

History Award
1997 winner Play Award y separately published work icon Jerusalem Michael Gurr , Paddington : Currency Press Playbox Theatre , 1996 Z572136 1996 single work drama

'Vivien runs a group who visit prisoners. When a young murderer is released into Vivien’s care, public and private moralities clash.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

1997 winner Script Writing form y separately published work icon Mabo : Life of an Island Man Jonathon Holmes , ( dir. Trevor Graham ) Lindfield : Film Australia , 1997 Z946556 1997 single work film/TV biography (taught in 1 units)

A documentary that explores the life of Eddie Mabo, whose struggle for land rights, and his remarkable life in general, had a profound effect on Indigenous rights in Australia. It tells the story of an island man so passionate about family and home that he fought an entire nation and its legal system. Though he died before his great victory was won, it has forever ensured his place on Murray Island and in Australian history. Mabo effectively challenged the notion of terra nullus, which asserted that Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders did not have a system of legal ownership predating white settlement. He devoted his life to a fight to gain legal recognition of his right to own ancestral land and his family home in the Murray Islands. Mabo died of cancer just five months before the High Court's historic decision.

1997 winner Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry y separately published work icon The Viewfinder Anthony Lawrence , St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 1996 Z500817 1996 selected work poetry
1997 winner Book of the Year y separately published work icon The Drowner Robert Drewe , Sydney : Macmillan , 1996 Z287656 1996 single work novel historical fiction

'In the warm alkaline waters of the public bath, a naive and headstrong young engineer accidentally collides with a breathtaking actress. From this innocent collision of flesh begins a passion that will take them from the Wiltshire Downs to the mythical source of life in Africa - and to the most elemental choices of life and death in the Australian desert.

'While the intense love story of William Dance and Angelica Lloyd is at the heart of The Drowner, it is but a part of the daring story that unfolds. By irresistibly mingling history, myth and technology with a modern cinematic and poetic imagination, Robert Drewe has reached beyond the traditions of the romance and annexed new territory.

'Such is the grand scale and original texture of The Drowner that it is at once a fable of European ambitions in an alien landscape, a magnificently sustained metaphor of water as the life and death force and, above all, an intimate and ambitious portrayal - of great resonance and haunting sensuality - of the essence of the differences between men and women.

'Lyrical and astringent, vibrant and tender, The Drowner has all the mysterious powers of a dream. Robert Drewe's seventh work of fiction shows an author at the peak of his powers demonstrating the full vigour of his artistic vision.' (Publication summary)

1997 winner Ethel Turner Prize y separately published work icon The Two Bullies Junko Morimoto (illustrator), Isao Morimoto (translator), Milsons Point : Random House Australia , 1997 Z834226 1997 single work picture book children's fable 'Ni-ou is the strongest fellow in Japan. No one can beat him. But that's not enough. When he hears that there is a strong man called Dokkoi in China, Ni-ou wants to beat him too. So he goes looking for a fight.' (Source: Back cover)
1996 winner Play Award y separately published work icon The Shoe-Horn Sonata John Misto , 1995 Paddington : Currency Press , 1996 Z125481 1995 single work drama A two-hander based on the imprisonment of Australian nurses and female civilians in South East Asia by the Japanese during WWII.
1996 winner Gleebooks Prize for Literary or Cultural Criticism y separately published work icon Artful Histories : Modern Australian Autobiography David McCooey , Melbourne : Cambridge University Press , 1996 Z477662 1996 single work criticism (taught in 1 units)
1996 joint winner Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry y separately published work icon Weeping for Lost Babylon Eric Beach , Pymble : Angus and Robertson Paper Bark Press , 1996 Z462353 1996 selected work poetry
1996 joint winner Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry y separately published work icon Selected Poems J. S. Harry , Ringwood : Penguin , 1995 Z186819 1995 selected work poetry humour
1996 winner Christina Stead Prize for Fiction y separately published work icon Leaning Towards Infinity : How My Mother's Apron Unfolds into My Life Sue Woolfe , Milsons Point : Vintage , 1996 Z254353 1996 single work novel This is the story of Frances Monrose, an Australian woman with no formal mathematics training who carried across the world in a suitcase bulging with a friend's balldresses, something no one knew about - the discovery of a new number. It is also the story of Hypatia, her daughter, who is also cursed by mathematics. (Source: Trove)
1996 Special Discretionary Award Thomas Shapcott
1995 winner Book of the Year y separately published work icon The Encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia : Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History, Society and Culture The Encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia David Horton (editor), Canberra : Aboriginal Studies Press , 1994 Z96898 1994 anthology prose criticism

The Encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia contains 2000 entries and 1000 photographs, it covers all aspects of Indigenous Australians' lives including history, art, language, sport, education, archaeology, literature, land ownership, social organisation, health, music, law, technology, media, economy, politics, food and religion. (Source: AIATSIS website)

1995 winner Special Award y separately published work icon The Encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia : Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History, Society and Culture The Encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia David Horton (editor), Canberra : Aboriginal Studies Press , 1994 Z96898 1994 anthology prose criticism

The Encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia contains 2000 entries and 1000 photographs, it covers all aspects of Indigenous Australians' lives including history, art, language, sport, education, archaeology, literature, land ownership, social organisation, health, music, law, technology, media, economy, politics, food and religion. (Source: AIATSIS website)

1995 winner Ethnic Affairs Commission Award y separately published work icon The First Book of Samuel Ursula Dubosarsky , Ringwood : Viking , 1995 Z281225 1995 single work novel young adult 'On Samuel's twelfth birthday he disappeared. Neither his opera-singer father, his psychiatrist mother, or his almost-twin half-sister could find him. It was his grandfather, old Elias, who eventually saved his life. A story about the intricate links binding together a family. (Publisher's blurb)
1995 joint winner Play Award y separately published work icon Falling from Grace Hannie Rayson , Sydney Melbourne : Currency Press Playbox Theatre Centre, Monash University , 1994 Z552532 1994 single work drama Falling from Grace is a play with a bright comic surface and mysterious depths. It is about women in medicine, in the media and in the office - power and authority in female hands. It is also about public morality and a struggle between women to see who should be its guardian. These women are best friends in a professional world. They are witty and erudite, passionate in pursuit of success and relentless in their pursuit of passion. They juggle careers, children and lovers. They are forty and their friendship is about to be tested'. Publisher's blurb, back cover.
1995 joint winner Play Award y separately published work icon Sweet Phoebe Michael Gow , 1994 Sydney : Currency Press Playbox Theatre , 1995 Z536541 1994 single work drama
1995 winner The Ethel Turner Prize for Children's Writing y separately published work icon Mr Enigmatic Jenny Pausacker , Port Melbourne : Mammoth , 1994 Z542536 1994 single work novel young adult
1995 winner Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry y separately published work icon Coming Home from the World Peter Boyle , Wollongong : Five Islands Press Scarp Productions , 1994 Z189465 1994 selected work poetry
1995 winner Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-Fiction y separately published work icon The Orchard Drusilla Modjeska , Sydney : Macmillan , 1994 Z327201 1994 selected work short story (taught in 3 units)
1995 winner Christina Stead Prize for Fiction y separately published work icon Just Like That Lily Brett , Sydney : Macmillan Australia , 1994 Z232454 1994 single work novel 'A novel about the daughter of Holocaust survivors, a professional obituary writer who escapes Melbourne for New York, but cannot escape the reminders of who she is and where she has come from.' (The Bibliography of Australasian Judaica 1788-2008, p. 9)
1991 Drama special award (posthumous) Blagoja Neskovski BAMW incorrectly cites this as the Victorian Premier's Literary Award.
1989 winner y separately published work icon You Take the High Road Mary K. Pershall , Ringwood : Penguin , 1988 Z176450 1988 single work novel young adult
1987 winner Play Award y separately published work icon Blood Relations David Malouf , Sydney : Currency Press , 1988 Z289735 1988 single work drama

'In his first play, the award-winning David Malouf peoples his stage with characters whose inner selves are as immediate as their environment. A family group gathers at Christmas about the dynamic and manipulative patriach, Willy - a man of many pasts. They are joined by two inquisitive characters bent on uncovering his secret. The relevation uncovers a further mystery of guilt and reconciliation.'

Source: Currency Plays back-cover blurb.

1987 winner Children's Book Award y separately published work icon A Rabbit Named Harris Nan Hunt , Betina Ogden (illustrator), Sydney : Collins , 1987 Z831727 1987 single work picture book children's Julio wanted to save his Grandad from being put into a home, so he took him on an adventure. They took something they would need, and something to love.
1987 Television Writing Award form y separately published work icon Two Friends Helen Garner , ( dir. Jane Campion ) Australia : ABC Television , 1986 Z1360331 1986 single work film/TV
— Appears in: 'The Last Days of Chez Nous' and 'Two Friends' 1992; (p. 117-225)

Focusing on the troubled mid-teen years of two schoolgirls, this telemovie explores the change in their relationship over a period of a year.

1987 winner Poetry y separately published work icon Blood and Bone Philip Hodgins , North Ryde : Angus and Robertson , 1986 Z381789 1986 selected work poetry
1987 winner Christina Stead Prize for Fiction y separately published work icon Dancing on Coral Glenda Adams , Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1987 Z355529 1987 single work novel (taught in 1 units)

'‘She’s going now,’ said Henry Watter if he said anything at all. Or, ‘It’s a tricky place, the world. You’ve got to be sharp to manage it.’‘Leave her be. She’ll be back,’ said Mrs Watter. ‘This is her home. She knows that.’

Lark Watter had always planned to run away from her stifling suburban life in 1960s Sydney. At university she encounters an American, Tom, and with him the promise of escape. Following Tom to the other side of the world by freighter is a journey to freedom—but the adventure Lark has embarked on isn’t quite what she had anticipated. Not on the way there, and certainly not in New York…

A picaresque journey across the high seas and through the extremes of the ’60s, Dancing on Coral was Glenda Adams’ second novel and established her international reputation. (Publisher's blurb)

1986 winner Ethel Turner Prize y separately published work icon The True Story of Spit MacPhee James Aldridge , Ringwood : Viking , 1986 Z861914 1986 single work children's fiction children's "When young Spit MacPhee came to live with his grandfather, the people of the Australian country town of St Helen feared for his future. For Fyfe MacPhee was a crazy old man, and barefoot Spit had to fend for himself along the riverbank where they lived."
1986 winner Fiction y separately published work icon Postcards from Surfers : Stories Helen Garner , Fitzroy : McPhee Gribble , 1985 Z372281 1985 selected work short story

'From one of Australia's most celebrated writers comes eleven stories about the complexities of life and love; of looking back and longing; of what it means to be a stranger, on foreign ground and known, told with the piercing familiarity and resonance we have come to expect from Helen Garner. Remarkably honest, often very funny and always woven in ways that surprise, these stories tease out everyday life to show the darkness underneath - but also the possibilities of joy.'

Source: Publisher's blurb (Penguin Modern Classics)

1986 winner Poetry y separately published work icon Selected Poems 1963-1983 Robert Gray , North Ryde : Angus and Robertson , 1985 Z264699 1985 selected work poetry
1986 winner Special Award for the International Year of Peace y separately published work icon A Kind of Cattle Barney Roberts , Canberra Sydney : Australian War Memorial Collins , 1985 Z286735 1985 single work autobiography war literature
1986 winner Special Award y separately published work icon The Oxford Companion to Australian Literature Australian Literature W. H. Wilde (editor), Joy W. Hooton (editor), Barry Geoffrey Andrews (editor), Melbourne : Oxford University Press , 1985 Z423954 1985 reference criticism biography

'A comprehensive account of Australian literature from the first settlement in 1788 to the current day, this book represents the most important achievements in Australian poetry, drama, and fiction as well as non-fictional prose–journals, diaries, biographies, and autobiographies–and details the impact on the writing caused by those historical events that often serve as a work's theme. More than 3,000 informative entries cover subjects such as transportation, exploration, gold discoveries, bushranging, and outback ethos, all of which played a part in the development of the continent's literature as did the pervasive presence and influence of the Aboriginal culture. Entries range from lengthy articles on special topics to brief factual paragraphs explaining words or references. Also provided is information and reference sources on important past and contemporary writers as well as anything and everything that may have influenced their development: the growth of publishing and periodicals; the impact of movements such as nationalism, racialism, and feminism; and the contributions made by booksellers, critics, and literary associations. A major new Oxford Companion, this book makes an intriguing new genre of literature accessible to all readers.' (Source: On-line)

1986 winner Children's Book Award y separately published work icon The True Story of Spit MacPhee James Aldridge , Ringwood : Viking , 1986 Z861914 1986 single work children's fiction children's "When young Spit MacPhee came to live with his grandfather, the people of the Australian country town of St Helen feared for his future. For Fyfe MacPhee was a crazy old man, and barefoot Spit had to fend for himself along the riverbank where they lived."
1986 winner Best Play y separately published work icon Away Michael Gow , Sydney : Currency Press Playbox Theatre , 1986 Z130562 1986 single work drama
— Appears in: ラブ・チャイルド : アウェイ 2006;

'Commencing with a school performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Shakespearean themes of suffering and reconciliation persist as three families on separate holidays are united during a fierce storm.

'Immigrants Harry and Vic love their adopted country but are faced with their son Tom’s terminal illness. Jim and Gwen fret over their daughter Meg’s blossoming independence and her friendship with the socially unsuitable Tom. Roy is unable to console a grief-stricken Coral over the death of their only son in Vietnam.

'But with the help of some Shakespearean fairies and a spectacular storm, these families are reconciled and face the future anew.

'For two decades audiences have been enthralled by this story about the coming of age of both a group of individuals and the country in which they live. Despite being set almost 40 years ago, this multi-award winning play is as relevant as ever with its themes of reconciliation and loss.

'Away is sharply observed, clever, funny and yet very moving. Out of the familiar family ingredients, Gow has constructed a magical play that every Australian can relate to. It depicts the hopes of a new generation, prompting us to consider what is ultimately most important in our lives.' (Publication summary)

1985 winner Drama y separately published work icon The Blind Giant Is Dancing Stephen Sewell , Sydney : Currency Press , 1983 Z130955 1983 single work drama (taught in 2 units)

'Brutality in the workplace, rage in the streets, seething in the home. The vulnerability of political parties when they’ve forgotten why they’re there. The intellectual torpor of modern Australia. How power corrupts.

'Stephen Sewell’s play is an angry and tender depiction of an idealist who becomes so embroiled in a party power struggle that he loses sight of what’s at stake. When it premiered in 1983, The Blind Giant is Dancing felt like a sharp slap in the face. And in an age of ICAC, Union credit cards, speculative housing bubbles, a pulverised working class, vapid leadership… it’s definitely time for another look at this Australian classic.

'Artistic Director Eamon Flack begins his tenure with a company of twelve of the country’s great actors and one of the country’s great plays.'

Source: Belvoir 2016 production summary.

1985 winner Fiction y separately published work icon Milk and Honey : A Novel Elizabeth Jolley , Fremantle : Fremantle Press , 1984 Z385380 1984 single work novel

A self-absorbed young musician comes as a pupil-boarder to the house of an 'old European' family. Gradually his life is taken over and consumed, seemingly, by dark, mysterious forces within as much as outside himself. Milk and Honey is a strangely haunting novel. While much of what we have come to expect and admire in Elizabeth Jolley's work is powerfully present - vivid and diverse characters, pathos, humour and acute perceptions of people and their situations - it is in many ways quite unlike anything she has previously written. A work of gothic proportions, Milk and Honeyis an astonishing tapestry of character and incident that surprises and yet never fails to convince.

(Source: Booktopia)

1985 winner Poetry y separately published work icon Your Shadow : (Poems 1980-83) Kevin Hart , Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1984 Z447650 1984 selected work poetry
1984 winner Non-Fiction y separately published work icon The Archibald Paradox : A Strange Case of Authorship Sylvia Lawson , Ringwood : Penguin , 1987 Z282137 1987 single work criticism
1984 winner Poetry y separately published work icon The People's Otherworld : Poems Les Murray , North Ryde : Angus and Robertson , 1983 Z300218 1983 selected work poetry
1984 winner Fiction y separately published work icon Milk : Stories Beverley Farmer , Ringwood : McPhee Gribble , 1983 Z401094 1983 selected work short story A collection of short stories set in Greece and Australia. They chart the distances between people, their place in light and landscape, their failures to love and be loved. (Source: LibrariesAustralia)
1984 winner Television Writing form y separately published work icon Scales of Justice Robert Caswell , ( dir. Michael Jenkins ) Australia : ABC Television , 1983 Z143128 1983 series - publisher film/TV crime

Set in the world of law enforcement, vice, drugs, politics, and organised crime, Scales of Justice is a quasi-documentary comprising three self-contained stories. The first concerns a young probationary constable who finds himself torn between his moral obligations and loyalty. The second follows two drug squad detectives who allow themselves to be compromised to achieve ambition and power. The third story examines a young and ambitious attorney-general who finds himself in conflict with corrupt senior policemen and some major crime bosses.

1984 winner Film Writing form y separately published work icon Careful, He Might Hear You Michael Jenkins , ( dir. Carl Schultz ) Sydney : Syme International Productions , 1983 Z1359519 1983 single work film/TV

Set in the Depression, the story follows the bitter struggle between two sisters over the custody of their orphaned nephew. Each determined to have the boy, both women resort to deceitful manipulation and cruel lies.

1983 winner Play Award y separately published work icon Variations Nick Enright , Terence Clarke (composer), 1982 (Manuscript version)x400285 Z851186 1982 single work musical theatre
1983 winner Poetry y separately published work icon Tide Country Vivian Smith , Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1982 Z498629 1982 selected work poetry
1983 winner Fiction y separately published work icon The Cure Peter Kocan , Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1983 Z498734 1983 single work novel
1982 winner Poetry y separately published work icon Kaddish and Other Poems Fay Zwicky , St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 1982 Z13132 1982 selected work poetry
1982 winner Fiction y separately published work icon Bliss Peter Carey , St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 1981 8407782 1981 single work novel (taught in 11 units)

'For thirty-nine years Harry Joy has been the quintessential good guy. But one morning Harry has a heart attack on his suburban front lawn, and, for the space of nine minutes, he becomes a dead guy. And although he is resuscitated, he will never be the same. For, as Peter Carey makes abundantly clear in this darkly funny novel, death is sometimes a necessary prelude to real life.' (From the author's website.)

1981 winner Ethnic Writing for children y separately published work icon The Seventh Pebble Eleanor Spence , Melbourne : Oxford University Press , 1981 Z667637 1981 single work children's fiction children's

'When the Connells move into the run down old mining town of Hollybush Flat, they make a few friends but most of the town is unfriendly towards them because they are Irish, Catholic and poor, and their father is suspiciously absent.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

1981 winner Children's Book y separately published work icon When the Wind Changed Ruth Park , Deborah Niland (illustrator), Sydney : Collins , 1980 Z37066 1980 single work picture book humour children's
— Appears in: Mulligrubs and Friends : A Collection of Favourite Children's Stories 1992;
'Josh could make the most awful faces. But one day, just as he made the most hideous face of all, the wind changed. However, Josh's awful face helps save his dad from a bank robber - just before the wind changes again.' (Source: Amazon Books)
1981 winner Poetry y separately published work icon Astral Sea : Poems Alan Gould , Sydney London : Angus and Robertson , 1981 Z374504 1981 selected work poetry
1980 winner Poetry y separately published work icon The Man in the Honeysuckle : Poems David Campbell , Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1979 Z300745 1979 selected work poetry
1980 winner Ethnic Affairs Commission Award Special Children's Book Award y separately published work icon Land of the Rainbow Snake : Aboriginal Children's Stories and Songs from Western Arnhem Land Catherine H. Berndt , Djoki Yunupingu (illustrator), Catherine H. Berndt (translator), ( trans. Catherine H. Berndt )expression Sydney : Collins , 1979 Z848592 1979 selected work prose lyric/song dreaming story children's Boys turn into fish, a wild woman and her giant dog look for people to eat, and other wonders occur in these twenty-seven traditional stories from the aborigines of western Arnhem Land, in the Northern Territory of Australia.
1979 winner Fiction y separately published work icon An Imaginary Life : A Novel David Malouf , New York (City) : George Braziller , 1978 Z828578 1978 single work novel (taught in 8 units)

'In prose that is both elegant and lyrical, David Malouf departs from the little-known facts of Ovid's exile beyond the pale of civilization to create a deeply moving novel of extraordinary beauty. An outcast in a vast wasteland at the edge of the Black Sea, Ovid discovers a feral child. As he teaches the boy to speak the language of the civilized world, the child tutors him in his own tongue, the language of nature, and the once barren landscape begins to resonate with meaning.' (Publisher's blurb)

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