The KOALA Awards - the Kids Own Australian Literature Awards - were established in 1986. The first award was given in 1987 to Mem Fox and Julie Vivas for Possum Magic and Robyn Klein for Hating Alison Ashley. The award was created by and continues to be run by volunteers, including teacher librarians, public librarians, teachers, publishers and other supporters of children’s literature.
The KOALA Awards are a children's choice award annually drawn from the REAL Awards shortlist. KOALA is based in New South Wales.
KOALA are annual awards made by young readers in NSW to the Australian books they have most enjoyed reading during that year.
'Children are invited to nominate their favourite Australian book; a shortlist ... is drawn up from the nominations. Children then vote for their favourite shortlisted title. Winners are announced at a special Awards Day in the four categories: Picture Book, Younger Readers, Older Readers and the Years 7-9 category.
'KOALA is a non-profit organisation run by volunteers (teacher/librarians, public librarians, teachers, publishers and other supporters of children's literature).'
Source: KOALA website, http://www.koalansw.org.au/