Welcome to the blog of the Tasmanian branch of the Children's Book Council of Australia!

Saturday 19 August 2017

Book Week 2017 kicks off in Tasmania - BOTY Awards and Gala Dinner

Part 1: Book of the Year Awards Ceremony at Government House

Friday 18 August heralded the long awaited announcements of the winners and honour books for the Children's Book Council of Australia's Book of the Year Awards announced at Government House by Her Excellency the Governor in prestigious and historic surroundings.

After being formally welcomed on entry, guests moved past strategically placed displays of the shortlisted titles in each category to be seated in the ballroom. What a lavish and fitting setting for this prestigious event.

After a warm welcome from Governor Warner, The Chair of the National Board, Professor Margot Hillel announced the shortlisted finalists, followed by the Honours and Winners in each category. The results can be viewed on the CBCA Website.

The ceremony was concluded by a presentation from the Outhouse Legends representing Jordon River Learning Federation located in the northernmost suburbs of Hobart. These talented young artists recited Julia Donaldson's 'I opened a book' followed by an energetic countdown, lead by the performers, to mark the official start of Book Week - a joyful and vociferous conclusion to a prestigous ceremony..

Cam Jones, CBCA Tasmanian Board member
with Her Excellency the Governor.
A light afternoon tea was served and provided Her Excellency and Mr Warner, guests, recipients, CBCA Board members and judges to mingle, congratulate, check the books and enjoy the occasion and the surroundings. Other student representatives included the winning teams from the Hobart Readers Cup competitions. 
South Hobart Readers Cup Primary Team
 with Gina Newton, author of
Amazing Animals,winner of the
Eve Pownall Award.
Friends Readers Cup Secondary Team
with Trace Balla, winner of the
Book of the Year: Younger Readers
for Rockhopping.

 Mr Warner and Johanna Bell, winner of
the Book of the Year: Early Childhood,
for Go Home Cheeky Monkeys.

Ross Watkins and partner,
author of One Photo, enjoying the event.

Left: A proud father with daughter, Meg Caddy, author of Waer, shortlisted in the Book of the Year: Older Readers.

Right: Owner of the real life Mrs Whitlam, and wife of Bruce Pascoe, author of Mrs Whitlam.

Jennie Bales
CBCA Tas Social Media Coordinator

Part 2: Book of the Year Celebratory Dinner – Hobart Waterfront 

The Tasmanian Branch of the CBCA had the pleasure of hosting the Book of the Year celebratory dinner at the Hobart Function and Conference Centre on Elizabeth Street Pier. Over 100 people attended the function and enjoyed delicious food and a spectacular night view of the harbour overlooking the Derwent River. Chamber music, played by a group of young talented musicians set the scene as guests arrived and mingled.
Our Master of Ceremonies Steve Martin, a CBCA Tasmanian Committee Member and Mayor of Devonport conducted the proceedings. The evening began with an interactive quiz which challenged our knowledge with quirky questions relating to children’s literature both old and new. 

The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Nan Chauncy Award by Jenni Connor to Mem Fox for her contribution to children’s literature over many years. Mem’s acceptance speech was, as always, entertaining, informative and engaging. She paid tribute to the many other talented and creative people involved in producing her popular books and stated that; “Authors are only 50% of a great picture book”. Mem shared some of her memorable experiences as an author, events from her early life and hilarious responses from her child readers.  She concluded by reading her latest book I’m Australian too and encouraged the audience to join her in singing the last verse of the story to the tune of Advance Australia Fair. As Mem Fox said; “The ending is not the end, the story continues!”

The evening was a wonderful opportunity to meet different authors, illustrators, publishers and award winners, members of the National Board of CBCA, branch and territory members and many other people interested in promoting quality children’s literature at the local, state, and national level in Australia. As Gina Newton, the winner of the Eve Pownall Award said; “it was a magical evening”. 

The evening concluded with a special thanks and appreciation to Nella Pickup for her work in organising the Awards ceremony at Government House, and to Gay McKinnon for leading a stalwart team in executing the dinner.

Leanne Rands
President of CBCA Tasmanian Branch


  1. It truly was a magical experience. I had the pleasure of being Mem Fox's driver on three occasions and travelling with Bob Graham in Pennii's car from Govt House to town, and manhandling his hood from his jacket in the sleeting rain. It's so wonderful that being involved with CBCA has presented these opportunities to meet the wonderful authors and illustrators that fill my bookshelves. I hope that I will be as vibrant as Mem and Bob when I become a septuagenarian.

  2. As the President of the CBCA Tasmania l would like to thank all those wonderful people both members and volunteers who worked so tirelessly to make both Book of the Year events so successful and memorable, as Gina Newton said; "It was magical".