AustLit logo
Pheme Tanner Award
Subcategory of Awards Australian Awards
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.


'The Pheme Tanner Award is a biennial award presented as part of the La Trobe University, Bendigo Children's Literature Conference. It is jointly sponsored by La Trobe University, Bendigo and the Business and Professional Women's Association (BPWA) of Bendigo.  It is presented to recognize distinguished service to Children's Literature and the encouragement of the joys of reading in children.

'The award commemorates Miss Euphemia Tanner (1914 - 1993), who was the Bendigo Library's Children's Librarian from 1946 to 1979 and one of the first full-time children's librarians in Australia. Her enthusiasm for literature and wide knowledge of children's books influenced a generation of readers. Her greatest reward, she said, was to know that she had left so many children with a love of books and introduced them to the joys of reading.

'She was also President and long time member of the BPWA, raising issues of the status of women in professional life. She took a firm and determined stand on many situations and projects that affected not only her own professional life, but also those of her staff, her peers and all professional women.

'Miss Tanner was energetic and enthusiastic, often single-minded and forthright. She made immense contribution to the strong traditions of libraries and children's literature in Bendigo, and was responsible for generations of children in central Victoria reading widely, critically and well.' (

Note: No award was given in 2003


2011 Craig Smith
2008 Bronwen Bennett
2005 Michael Dugan
2001 Helen Chamberlin
1999 Christobel Mattingley
1997 winner Moira Robinson Enthusiasm has always been Moira's hallmark, an efferevescent delight married to an absolute determination that young readers deserve the highest quality in their literature. Whether it has been in her bookshops, her academic work, her reviewing or her publishing work, she has ever been an evangelist for this cause and worked untiringly to achieve that best.
1995 Noela Young