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Western Australian Premier's Book Awards
or WA Premier's Book Awards
Subcategory of Awards Australian Awards
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History

The Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards aims to support, develop and recognise excellence in writing. 

In 2015, the awards moved to a biennial format, but it was announced in 2018 that the awards would return to an annual format.

There were no awards in 2017.

In 2018, the awards were re-imagined to include four categories. Three of these are open to Western Australian residents only: Western Australian Writing Fellowship; Premier's Prize for an Emerging Writer; and, Premier's Prize for Writing for Children. The Daisy Utemorrah Award for unpublished Indigenous Junior and YA Writing (established in 2018), is open to all Australian residents.

The awards announced in the year following their publication.

Winners (also see subcategories)v1539

2005 winner y separately published work icon Cleared Out : First Contact in the Western Desert Yuwali , Sue Davenport , Peter Johnson , Canberra : Aboriginal Studies Press , 2005 Z1502511 2005 single work life story

'In 1964, a group of 20 Aboriginal women and children in the Western Desert made their first contact with European Australians — patrol officers from the Woomera Rocket Range, clearing an area into which rockets were to be fired. They had been pursued by the patrol officers for several weeks, running from this frightening new force in the desert.'

'Yuwali, 17 at the time, remembers every detail of the drama – first seeing these ‘devils’ and their ‘rocks that moved’, escaping the strange intruders. Her sharp recollections are complemented in a 3-part diary of the ‘chase’ by the colourful official reports of the patrol. These reflect a similar drama – arguments within Government about the treatment of desert inhabitants and public scepticism about the Government’s intent. Line-drawn maps and black & white illustrations complement the text.'

'Yuwali’s story also resonates in today’s debate about the future of many Indigenous desert communities. Cleared Out combines three oral histories, detailed archival research and a wealth of photographs and rare film footage from the patrol. Through one extraordinary episode, the multiple perspectives on the moment of contact are revealed.' (Resource: Publishers website)

History Award
2005 winner y separately published work icon Cleared Out : First Contact in the Western Desert Yuwali , Sue Davenport , Peter Johnson , Canberra : Aboriginal Studies Press , 2005 Z1502511 2005 single work life story

'In 1964, a group of 20 Aboriginal women and children in the Western Desert made their first contact with European Australians — patrol officers from the Woomera Rocket Range, clearing an area into which rockets were to be fired. They had been pursued by the patrol officers for several weeks, running from this frightening new force in the desert.'

'Yuwali, 17 at the time, remembers every detail of the drama – first seeing these ‘devils’ and their ‘rocks that moved’, escaping the strange intruders. Her sharp recollections are complemented in a 3-part diary of the ‘chase’ by the colourful official reports of the patrol. These reflect a similar drama – arguments within Government about the treatment of desert inhabitants and public scepticism about the Government’s intent. Line-drawn maps and black & white illustrations complement the text.'

'Yuwali’s story also resonates in today’s debate about the future of many Indigenous desert communities. Cleared Out combines three oral histories, detailed archival research and a wealth of photographs and rare film footage from the patrol. Through one extraordinary episode, the multiple perspectives on the moment of contact are revealed.' (Resource: Publishers website)

2003 winner Children's Books y separately published work icon The Legend of Lasseter's Reef Mark Greenwood , Crawley : Cygnet Books , 2003 Z1075699 2003 single work children's fiction children's
1997 winner Script form y separately published work icon Culture Clash Sarah Rossetti , Australia : Rosenbaum Whitbread Film & Television Productions , 1997 16997929 1997 single work film/TV
1994 winner Fiction Award y separately published work icon Letter to Constantine Joan London , South Fremantle : Fremantle Press , 1993 Z188712 1993 selected work short story
1994 winner Historical and Critical Studies 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)

1994 winner Children's Literature y separately published work icon Rosa's Famous Elbow Mike Lefroy , Peter Kendall (illustrator), Western Australia : Sandcastle Books , 1993 Z834745 1993 single work picture book children's
1993 winner Historical and Critical Studies Award y separately published work icon Central Mischief : Elizabeth Jolley on Writing, Her Past and Herself Elizabeth Jolley , Caroline Lurie (editor), Ringwood : Viking , 1992 Z314003 1992 selected work prose
1993 winner Premier's Prize y separately published work icon Central Mischief : Elizabeth Jolley on Writing, Her Past and Herself Elizabeth Jolley , Caroline Lurie (editor), Ringwood : Viking , 1992 Z314003 1992 selected work prose
1993 winner Fiction Award y separately published work icon The House of Breathing Gail Jones , Fremantle : Fremantle Press , 1992 Z508629 1992 selected work short story (taught in 2 units)
1993 winner Poetry Award y separately published work icon Full Fathom Five John Kinsella , South Fremantle : Fremantle Press , 1993 Z272089 1993 selected work poetry
1993 winner Childrens Book Award y separately published work icon Roughtail : The Dreaming of the Roughtail Lizard and Other Stories Told by the Kukatja Tjarany : Tjaranykura Tjukurrpa Ngaanpa Kalkinpa Wangka Tjukurrtjanu; Tjarany : Roughtail Gracie Greene , Joe Tramacchi , Lucille Gill , Lucille Gill (illustrator), Broome : Magabala Books , 1990 Z843149 1990 selected work children's fiction children's Indigenous story

'Tjarany Roughtail contains eight dreamtime stories from the Kukatja people of Western Australia’s remote Kimberley Region. Each story is complemented by beautiful artworks painted by Aboriginal artist Lucille Gill that visually explain each story using traditional dot paintings. Told in English and Kukatja, the book includes magnificent paintings, maps, kinship diagrams, exercises and language notes. Winner of Children's Book Council of Australia Award.'

1993 winner Script One Small Step Heather Nimmo , 1992 single work drama
— Appears in: One Small Step and Witchplay 1995; (p. 13-63)
1993 winner y separately published work icon One Small Step and Witchplay Heather Nimmo , Tobsha Learner , Paddington : Currency Press , 1995 Z194438 1995 selected work drama
1992 winner Historical and Critical Studies Award y separately published work icon Spirit in Exile : Peter Porter and His Poetry Bruce Bennett , Melbourne : Oxford University Press , 1991 Z152404 1991 selected work criticism biography
1992 winner Fiction Award y separately published work icon Playback Philip Salom , Fremantle : Fremantle Press , 1991 Z439463 1991 single work novel
1992 winner Poetry Award y separately published work icon The Garden of Gethsemane : Poems from the Lost Decade Mudrooroo , South Yarra : Hyland House , 1991 Z311636 1991 selected work poetry satire
1992 winner Premier's Prize y separately published work icon The Garden of Gethsemane : Poems from the Lost Decade Mudrooroo , South Yarra : Hyland House , 1991 Z311636 1991 selected work poetry satire
1992 winner Children's Literature y separately published work icon Dear Mr Sprouts Errol Broome , St Leonards : Allen and Unwin , 1991 Z841303 1991 single work children's fiction children's

When Anke launches her green balloon with an envelope of seeds attached, and Freddie finds it, they have no idea how the event will change their lives and transform the bare hills of Freddie's farm forever. This city girl and country boy are as different as two people can be, but Freddie's first blunt letter begins a friendship that grows over the years, through all the adventures and challenges that come their way. 

1991 joint winner Fiction Award y separately published work icon The Country Without Music Nicholas Hasluck , Ringwood : Viking , 1990 Z459804 1990 single work novel
1991 joint winner Fiction y separately published work icon Cloudstreet Tim Winton , Melbourne : McPhee Gribble , 1991 Z204365 1991 single work novel (taught in 16 units) 'From separate catastrophes two rural families flee to the city and find themselves sharing a great, breathing, shuddering joint called Cloudstreet, where they begin their lives again from scratch. For twenty years they roister and rankle, laugh and curse until the roof over their heads becomes a home for their hearts.' (Source: Publisher's website)
1991 joint winner Historical and Critical Studies Award y separately published work icon Wild Card : An Autobiography, 1923-1958 Dorothy Hewett , Ringwood : McPhee Gribble , 1990 Z453485 1990 single work autobiography
1991 joint winner Children's Books y separately published work icon The Devil's Own Deborah Lisson , Glebe : Walter McVitty Books , 1990 Z844200 1990 single work novel young adult historical fiction When fifteen-year-old Julianna leaves her father's yacht to explore an island off the coast of Western Australia, she becomes part of a three-hundred-year-old mystery of shipwreck, mutiny and murder. A novel set around the Batavia's 1629 shipwreck, and the subsequent mutiny and murder on the Abrolhos Islands.
1991 joint winner Childrens Book Award y separately published work icon Lockie Leonard, Human Torpedo Tim Winton , South Yarra : McPhee Gribble , 1990 Z362664 1990 single work novel young adult humour (taught in 6 units)

'Lockie Leonard, hot surf-rat, is in love. The human torpedo is barely settled into his new school, and already he's got a girl on his mind. And not just any girl: it has to be Vicki Streeton, the smartest, prettiest, richest girl in the class. What chance have you got when your dad's a cop, your mum's a frighteningly understanding parent, your brother wets the bed and the teachers take an instant dislike to you and then you fall in love at twelve-and-three-quarter years old? It can only mean trouble, worry, mega-embarrassment and some wild, wild times ' (Publication summary)

1991 winner Poetry Award y separately published work icon Ask Me Fay Zwicky , St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 1990 Z556751 1990 selected work poetry
1991 joint winner Historical and Critical Studies Award y separately published work icon Writing from the Fringe : A Study of Modern Aboriginal Literature Mudrooroo , Melbourne : Hyland House , 1990 Z818610 1990 single work criticism (taught in 2 units)
1991 winner Special Award y separately published work icon Bran Nue Dae : A Musical Journey Jimmy Chi , Jimmy Chi (composer), Kuckles (composer), 1990 Sydney Broome : Currency Press Magabala Books , 1991 Z222822 1990 single work musical theatre (taught in 8 units)

The story of Bran Nue Dae concerns Willie, who having been expelled from the missionary school in Perth returns to Broome on the far north coast of Western Australia. Before leaving Perth, however, he finds his Uncle Tadpole and together they make the journey home with a hippie and a German tourist. Willy discovers sex and true love and their adventures end in the revelation that all the principle characters are related to each other. The whole is a celebration of the multi-cultural life of Broome and of the failures by government and church to make the black population assimilate and conform.

1990 winner Fiction y separately published work icon The Same Light Vasso Kalamaras , ( trans. Vasso Kalamaras et. al.agent )expression Fremantle : Fremantle Press , 1989 Z238257 1989 selected work short story poetry
1987 winner Non-fiction y separately published work icon The Lyre in the Pawnshop : Essays on Literature and Survival 1974-1984 Fay Zwicky , Nedlands : UWA Publishing , 1986 Z430629 1986 selected work criticism
1987 winner Special category y separately published work icon No Sugar Jack Davis , 1980 (Manuscript version)x400874 Z264453 1980 single work drama (taught in 21 units)
— Appears in: ドリーマーズ : ノー・シュガー 2006;

'The spirited story of the Millimurra family’s stand against government ‘protection’ policies in 1930s Australia.' (From the publisher's website.)

1986 winner Special Category : Short Stories and Verse y separately published work icon Portrait : A West Coast Collection Ray Coffey (editor), Wendy Jenkins (editor), Fremantle : Fremantle Press , 1986 Z358999 1986 anthology poetry short story
1986 winner Fiction y separately published work icon The Color of the Sky : A Novel Peter Cowan , Fremantle : Fremantle Press , 1986 Z409510 1986 single work novel
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