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Ena Noël Award Medal
Ena Noël Award (1994-)
or IBBY Australia Ena Noël Award
Subcategory of Awards Australian Awards
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'In 1994, founding president of IBBY Australia, Ena Noël OAM , founded her own biennial prize -the Ena Noel Award – to encourage young emerging writers and illustrators. The name was chosen, not so that Ena’s name would live on, but so that it was apparent to all concerned that she – someone highly regarded in the field – was trying to assist up-and-coming young Australian authors and illustrators for children. The award is a silver medallion designed by the first winner of the award, the Australian Aboriginal writer/illustrator Arone Raymond Meeks.

The Australian IBBY Encouragement Award for Children’s Literature is presented to a young developing Australian writer or illustrator. Only books by Australian creators published in the two years prior to the particular closing date can be nominated by the publishers for the Ena Noël award. The nominated creator must be under the age of 35 at the time the title (or titles) for which they are nominated was published. Any nominated author or illustrator has to be deemed by the judges to be worthy of encouragement.'

Source: 'Ena Noël Award', IBBY Australia website:


  • This award is given by the Australian National Section of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), a not-for-profit organisation allied with UNESCO.

    The award was named after Ena Noel, the foundation president of the Australian National Section from 1966-1991.

    The award was first presented in 1994.

    Originally a biennial award for a writer or illustrator, from 2024, the award was presented biennially to both a writer and an illustrator (two awards).

Latest Winners / Recipients

Year: 2022

winner y separately published work icon The Boy From the Mish Gary J. Lonesborough , Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2021 20461106 2021 single work novel young adult

'A heartwarming queer Indigenous Own Voices love story, from a startlingly talented debut author.

'Seventeen-year-old Jackson is living with his family on the Mish (former Aboriginal mission), hanging out with his mates, having problems with his girlfriend, teasing the tourists, and avoiding the racist boys in town. Jackson’s Aunty and cousins are visiting from the city for the summer holidays again. And this time Tomas, a mysterious boy, has come with them. While his mum and Aunty try to finish artwork, Jackson and Tomas grow close. As their friendship evolves, Jackson struggles with the changing shape of their relationship, self-acceptance and identity, and whether he’ll still be accepted by friends, family, and his Aboriginal community.

'Compelling, honest and beautifully written, The Boy from the Mish is a first novel like no other.' (Publication summary)

Year: 2020

winner y separately published work icon 500 Minutes of Danger Jack Heath , Gosford : Scholastic Australia , 2017 11548688 2017 selected work short story young adult adventure

'Bobby wakes up somewhere dark, enclosed. Has he been buried alive? Ella's trapped in quicksand. Will she escape before one of the jungle predators finds her? Kelsey's found a giant crocodile that's about to attack the city...' (Publication Summary)

Year: 2018

winner y separately published work icon The Sidekicks Will Kostakis , Melbourne : Penguin , 2016 9231773 2016 single work novel young adult

'The Swimmer.

The Rebel.

The Nerd.

'All Ryan, Harley and Miles had in common was Isaac. They lived different lives, had different interests and kept different secrets. But they shared the same best friend. They were sidekicks. And now that Isaac's gone, what does that make them?

'Will Kostakis, award-winning author of The First Third, perfectly depicts the pain and pleasure of this teenage world, piecing together three points of view with intricate splendour.' (Publication summary)

Year: 2016

winner y separately published work icon Writing Clementine Kate Gordon , Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2014 7559761 2014 single work novel young adult

'You said we could write anything we wanted. The first thing that came into our minds. Blue fish, red fish, green fish...

'Clementine Darcy is floundering. She wants to be the kind of fish who swims to the swish of her own fins - upstream, not simply carried along by the current.

'But she is finding the swirling waters of school and home difficult to navigate: her friendship group is splintering, her brother Fergus won't leave his room, her sister's life is not as perfect as Clem thought...and then there's the New Boy, who is dapper and intriguing, but hiding secrets of his own. Clem is desperate for everyone - including herself - to be happy, but she discovers that her idea of helping doesn't always work as well as she imagined.

'Can Clem be the girl she wants to be? Will she learn to accept that there are things she can fix and things she cannot? Will she find a way to know the difference?' (Publication summary)

Year: 2014

winner y separately published work icon Life in Outer Space Melissa Keil , Richmond : Hardie Grant Children's Publishing , 2013 Z1904275 2013 single work novel young adult fantasy romance


'He has his horror movies, his nerdy friends, World of Warcraft - and until Princess Leia turns up in his bedroom, worry about girls he won't.

'Then Camilla Carter turns up instead. She's beautiful, friendly and completely irrelevant to his plan. Sam is determined to ignore her, except that Camilla has a plan of her own - and he seems to be part of it.

'Sam believes that everything he needs to know he can learn from the movies. But perhaps he's been watching the wrong ones.

'Life in Outer Space is Melissa Keil's brilliantly sweet and funny debut YA novel. It's also the first book ever to be signed up through the Ampersand Project, Hardie Grant Egmont's initiative for emerging YA writers.' (Publisher's blurb)

Works About this Award

The Ena Noel Award for Encouragement (Australia) John Foster , 2007 single work essay
— Appears in: Bookbird , vol. 45 no. 3 2007; (p. 46-50)
Discusses the range of literary and children's choice awards for Australian children's literature.
The Australian IBBY Encouragement Award for Children's Literature Ena Noel , 2003 single work prose
— Appears in: Bookbird , May vol. 41 no. 2 2003; (p. 62-63)
Announcement of the 'Australian IBBY Encouragement Award for Children's Literature' to a young developing Australian writer or illustrator for one book only, which must have been published within the two years before the award is judged. The winner for 2002 is Beth Norling for the fantasy Cherryblossom and the Golden Bear.
Illustrator Wins National Award 2002 single work column
— Appears in: InCite , August vol. 23 no. 8 2002; (p. 6)