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Community Relations Commission Award
Subcategory of New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards
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Also called the Community Relations Commission for a Multicultural NSW Award.


2015 winner y separately published work icon Black and Proud : The Story of an Iconic AFL Photo Matthew Klugman , Gary Osmond , Sydney : NewSouth Publishing , 2013 6442571 2013 single work non-fiction

'It is one of Australia’s most iconic images. On 17 April 1993, the Indigenous AFL footballer Nicky Winmar stood up against racial abuse and made history. Facing the Collingwood crowd that had taunted him all day the St Kilda player pulled up his shirt, pointed to his chest and declared: ‘I’m black and I’m proud to be black’.

'Published the next day, the photos of Winmar’s gesture sparked an intense debate that forced the AFL, the fans and the nation to confront their prejudices head-on.

'Black and Proud takes us behind the searing image to the stories of those who made it happen – the Indigenous team-mates Nicky Winmar and Gilbert McAdam and the two photographers, Wayne Ludbey and John Feder. Bound by a love of the game, the four were brought together by acts of courage and vilification that show how far we have come and just how far we have to go.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2014 joint winner y separately published work icon The Secret River Andrew Bovell , 2013 Strawberry Hills : Currency Press , 2013 Z1887820 2013 single work drama (taught in 2 units)

'Convict William Thornhill, exiled from the stinking slums of early 19th century London, discovers that the penal colony offers something that he never dared to hope for before: a place of his own. A stretch of land on the Hawkesbury River is Thornhill’s for the taking.

'As he and his family seek to establish themselves in this unfamiliar territory, they find that they are not the only ones to lay a claim to the land. The Hawkesbury is already home to a family of Dharug people, who are reluctant to leave on account of these intruders.

'As Thornhill’s attachment to the place and the dream deepens, he is driven to make a terrible decision that will haunt him for the rest of his life.' (Source: Currency Press website)

With Michelle de Kretser's Questions of Travel.
2014 joint winner y separately published work icon Questions of Travel Michelle De Kretser , Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2012 Z1887768 2012 single work novel (taught in 1 units)

'A mesmerising literary novel, Questions of Travel charts two very different lives. Laura travels the world before returning to Sydney, where she works for a publisher of travel guides. Ravi dreams of being a tourist until he is driven from Sri Lanka by devastating events.

'Around these two superbly drawn characters, a double narrative assembles an enthralling array of people, places and stories - from Theo, whose life plays out in the long shadow of the past, to Hana, an Ethiopian woman determined to reinvent herself in Australia.

'Award-winning author Michelle de Kretser illuminates travel, work and modern dreams in this brilliant evocation of the way we live now. Wonderfully written, Questions of Travel is an extraordinary work of imagination - a transformative, very funny and intensely moving novel.' (From the publisher's website.)

With Andrew Bovell's stage adaptation of The Secret River.
2012 winner y separately published work icon Good Living Street : The Fortunes of My Viennese Family Tim Bonyhady , Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2011 Z1784789 2011 single work biography In 1900 Vienna was one of the most exciting places to live in the world. Its glamorous high society was the envy of Europe, and it was the centre of an exploding arts movement that set the tone for the following century. Bonyhady follows the lives of three generations of women in his family who lived in Vienna, eventually fleeing to escape the Nazis and settling in a small flat in Cremorne.
2011 winner form y separately published work icon 33 Postcards Pauline Chan , Martin Edmond , Philip Dalkin , ( dir. Pauline Chan ) Sydney China : Portal Pictures Zhejiang Hengdian Film Production , 2011 Z1784534 2011 single work film/TV Sixteen-year-old Mei Mei has dreamt of meeting her Australian sponsor and pen-friend Dean Randall and his "perfect family" for ten years. When her orphanage travels to Australia to attend a choir festival, Mei Mei disobeys the school leader and sets out to find him, navigating unfamiliar streets with the help of Carl, the charismatic son of a dodgy car dealer. When she discovers that the idyllic life Dean depicted in his postcards is far from the truth, Mei Mei remains tenacious in her efforts to connect with him.' Source: (Sighted 08/06/2011)
2011 winner y separately published work icon The English Class Yu Ouyang , Yarraville : Transit Lounge , 2010 Z1705016 2010 single work novel 'At the end of the Cultural Revolution in China in the late 1970s Jing, an educated youth (zhishi qingnian) who has spent a few years as a peasant in the countryside, becomes a truck driver in a provincial shipyard. He manages to teach himself English in adverse circumstances while driving his truck, eventually passing the examination to get into the English Class at Donghu University. There, he meets with classmates from vastly different cultural backgrounds and falls in love with Deirdre, the estranged partner of Dr Wagner the English teacher. This engaging and masterful novel explores the aspiration of many to migrate to English speaking countries. Like much of Ouyang's work it subtly deconstructs the mechanisms of colonialism against an increasingly vibrant Chinese economy. The vivid fictional life of a Chinese truck driver who aspires to the western life is beautifully and evocatively realised.' -- From the publisher's website
2010 winner y separately published work icon Leave to Remain : A Memoir Abbas El-Zein , St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 2009 Z1560774 2009 single work autobiography

'In Leave to Remain: A Memoir, Abbas El-Zein tells his story of growing up in a middleclass family in civil-war Beirut, a city in the throes of self-destruction, yet obstinately clinging to its cosmopolitan past. El-Zein traces the genesis of a contemporary Middle-Eastern identity - his own - under the influence of culture, religion, history and places far removed from where he grew up: Najaf and Baghdad, Paris, Palestine, London, Sydney and the American far west. With him we travel through a Middle-Eastern life, with an eye on the mundane and the everyday, as well as the cataclysmic events overshadowing them.

Threaded throughout this evocative memoir is an awareness of the impact of war and history on individuals, families and countries, with dislocation running across generations. Leave to Remain is a story of a troubled homeland, of many departures and less-than-happy returns - an autobiographical reflection on today's Middle-East and its relationship with the West.' -- Publisher's blurb

2009 winner y separately published work icon Destination Australia : Migration to Australia since 1901 Eric Richards , Sydney : University of New South Wales Press , 2009 Z1791874 2009 single work non-fiction Charts the history of migration to Australia from the twentieth century to the present. Written by one of Australia's leading historians of immigration, the book explores three main themes: the maintenance of British White Australia through to 1947; the Europeanisation of immigration through to the 1970s; and, the dismantling of White Australia and the radical diversification of immigration that has continued to the present day. More than just a linear history, uses the drama of real stories and experiences to illustrate broader arguments and places Australia's experience in the context of international migration patterns.
2008 winner y separately published work icon Sunrise West Jacob G. Rosenberg , Blackheath : Brandl and Schlesinger , 2007 Z1418020 2007 single work autobiography 'Sunrise West recounts his incarceration in Auschwitz, Wolfsburg and Ebensee, his liberation, followed by three and a half years as a displaced person in Italy, and the early period of his life in Australia'. (Source : Richard Freadman This Crazy Thing a Life : Australian Jewish Autobiography (2007))
2007 winner y separately published work icon The Arrival Shaun Tan , Shaun Tan (illustrator), South Melbourne : Lothian , 2006 Z1285263 2006 single work graphic novel children's (taught in 16 units)

"The Arrival is a migrant story told as a series of wordless images that might seem to come from a long forgotten time. A man leaves his wife and child in an impoverished town, seeking better prospects in an unknown country on the other side of a vast ocean. He eventually finds himself in a bewildering city of foreign customs, peculiar animals, curious floating objects and indecipherable languages. With nothing more than a suitcase and a handful of currency, the immigrant must find a place to live, food to eat and some kind of gainful employment. He is helped along the way by sympathetic strangers, each carrying their own unspoken history: stories of struggle and survival in a world of incomprehensible violence, upheaval and hope." (Source: Shaun Tan website)

2006 winner y separately published work icon The Secret River Kate Grenville , Edinburgh : Canongate , 2006 Z1194031 2006 single work novel historical fiction (taught in 69 units)

'In 1806 William Thornhill, a man of quick temper and deep feelings, is transported from the slums of London to New South Wales for the term of his natural life. With his wife Sal and their children he arrives in a harsh land he cannot understand.

'But the colony can turn a convict into a free man. Eight years later Thornhill sails up the Hawkesbury to claim a hundred acres for himself.

'Aboriginal people already live on that river. And other recent arrivals - Thomas Blackwood, Smasher Sullivan and Mrs Herring - are finding their own ways to respond to them.

'Thornhill, a man neither better nor worse than most, soon has to make the most difficult choice of his life.

'Inspired by research into her own family history, Kate Grenville vividly creates the reality of settler life, its longings, dangers and dilemmas. The Secret River is a brilliantly written book, a groundbreaking story about identity, belonging and ownership.' (From the publisher's website.)

2005 winner y separately published work icon A Certain Maritime Incident : The Sinking of SIEV X Tony Kevin , Carlton North : Scribe , 2004 Z1195901 2004 single work non-fiction In October 2001, over 400 asylum-seekers departed from Indonesia in a grossly overcrowded, rickety boat bound for Australia. Somewhere between the two countries the boat sank with a huge loss of life - 353 of the asylum seekers drowned. This is an examination of the event, the author's effort to spark a full-powers inquiry.
2003 winner y separately published work icon Secrets and Spies : The Harbin Files Mara Moustafine , Milsons Point : Random House , 2002 Z1013525 2002 single work autobiography 'From secret police files retrieved from the archives in post-Soviet Russia to the horror of Stalin’s purges, Secrets and Spies: The Harbin Files unravels the complex historical forces which shaped a family’s destiny.' (From author's website)
2003 winner y separately published work icon Against Paranoid Nationalism : Searching for Hope in a Shrinking Society Ghassan Hage , Annandale : Pluto Press , 2003 Z1791861 2003 single work non-fiction This book addresses very topical issues being raised in the public agenda and the media - relating directly to our government and its obsession with security and border control and the more global effect of capitalism and the social consequences of this trend.
2002 winner y separately published work icon Visits Home : Migration Experiences Between Italy and Australia Loretta Baldassar , Carlton South : Melbourne University Press , 2001 Z1010665 2001 single work criticism The book explores the relationship between identity and place by examining the phenomenon of return visits to the home country made by first and second generation Australian immigrants.
1993 (for social, cultural and educational diversity in Australian society) Heidi Chopey Before 2001 named The Ethnic Community Services Award Medal