WA Branch Newsletter                                                             April Issue 2019
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President's Piece
Welcome to our April newsletter. We are ever grateful for the ongoing dedicated service of re-elected committee members and it was a pleasure to welcome six enthusiastic new faces at the WA Branch AGM on Thursday 11 April. Sheena Matthews is our new WA Branch Treasurer, Beck Borona takes on the role of Newsletter Editor and Amanda Crossley, Julie Griffin, Jane Stanton and Nareeda Tillman are general members who I’m sure will soon find their niche on various subcommittees. We look forward to working with them all.

The Annual Report which was tabled at the AGM summarised another busy, challenging and productive year for the WA Branch and I would like to publicly thank each of the committee for their contributions to our success. Our Grants Officers, Mary Gimondo and Nola Allen deserve special credit for their ongoing ability to secure and manage funding for our CBCA Book Week program in an increasingly competitive environment. As the Make Your Own Story Book competition turns 42, it’s rewarding to note newly published WA authors and illustrators like Sian Turner and Fiona Burrows refer to their own treasured childhood entries as an important part of their creative journey. I encourage all members to read the Annual Report in full.

At the AGM we farewelled Joanne Morrell (Newsletter Editor 2018-19), Suzanne Pearse (Treasurer 2015-19) and Joanna Andrew and we thank them sincerely for their contributions to the WA Branch. Having joined the committee in June 1996 Joanna Andrew decided it was time to step down.  After 23 years of dedicated service filling roles as WA Branch President (2000-2002) and ANWOS Convenor and organising events including the Celebrity Short List Brunch Jo was presented with a certificate of appreciation, flowers and a book voucher.
We will miss them all.

Behind the scenes I have been working with Mary Gimondo and Suzanne Pearse to develop a new WA Branch Constitution in order to comply with the Associations Incorporation Act 2015 and the Associations Incorporation Regulations 2016. The deadline for this is 1 July 2019 therefore a Special General Meeting will be called on Tuesday 28 May at 6.30pm to pass the new document which has been drafted according to the model rules and guidelines. Members will be notified via email and are encouraged to attend this important meeting.

In May I shall represent the WA Branch at the CBCA National AGM in Canberra then attend the CBCA 13th National Conference ‘And now they’re laughing’. 

I hope you have received our CBCA Book Week Merchandise brochure and placed your merchandise orders. I look forward to seeing examples of your creative displays and activities to support the CBCA Book Week theme of
Reading is My Secret Power!

Jan Nicholls
CBCA WA Branch President 



2019 CBCA Book of The Year Awards
Judges Talk
Book Tickets Here
CBCA Book of The Year Awards 

Congratulations to the CBCA Shortlisted Authors, Illustrators and
Publishers for 2019

The 2019 Short List in PDF: CBCA Short List 2019 

Downloadable Short List posters by Awards category: 

Older Readers | Younger Readers | Early Childhood | Picture Book 
Eve Pownall | New Illustrator

On 15 March 2019 entries opened for the CBCA Book of the Year Awards 2020.
The online entry form is here: 

2019 CBCA Book Week Merchandise
The 2019 CBCA Book Week merchandise featuring gorgeous artwork from Bob Graham is now available for purchase from the WA Branch. Order forms have been delivered to schools and public libraries in WA and can be downloaded here
Please place your order by 9 May for delivery by early June.
Thank you for supporting the work of the CBCA WA Branch by ordering your merchandise from us.
For further information regarding ordering the merchandise please contact

Remember the free merchandise resources – a social media tile, email signature and letterhead on the Book Week page: 
A Night With Our Stars 2019

Photo Gallery 

The sixteenth ‘A Night with our Stars’ took place on Friday 8 March 2019. The new Friday time slot proved popular with 190 people attending and the event selling out.

First time presenters included Fiona Burrows, Steve Heron, Ian Mutch, Alicia Tuckerman, Michael Speechley and Margaret Merga who presented our first ever reference title!
Returnees Aśka, Sigi Cohen, Kelly Canby, Amanda Betts and well established presenters Frané Lessac, Mark Greenwood, Sally Murphy, Meg McKinlay, Dianne Wolfer, Karen Blair, James Foley, and Kylie Howarth made up the 19 presenters, speaking about 22 books. Many of the presented books are featured in the 2019 Notables List.

Jan Nicholls kept everyone to time so there were plenty of chances for catching up with colleagues, buying books, and meeting the presenters when getting them signed.  

Thanks to our ever supportive sponsors Fremantle Press and bookseller Westbooks, who were wonderfully organised prior to the event and on the night. Raffle prizes winners were thrilled with their haul and the money raised will go towards the Penny Hutchens Memorial Fund.

Joanna Andrew

Fabulous food and a startling array of wines, we oohed in delight and aaahed in amazement at the star’s antics!

Book themes ranged from punk fairy tales to suffragette movements, dyslexia, homophobia and bullying, family, friendships and belonging. Climate change was a big focus this year with firestorms, consumerism and sustainability, to stalwart topics on history and technology albeit with a different twist.

We were shown how imagination and curiosity are imperative when learning how to build bridges and move beyond invisible walls. It’s no wonder our stars are breaking records, winning awards, being published in many languages, producing visual texts for movies, plays and interactive media. We can’t wait to see the announcements and more of our stars represented in the notables next year. Well done CBCA!
Rebecca J Palmer
There is nothing quite like being one of the ‘stars’ at ANWOS. Just to be a part of that mini-galaxy of some of WA’s finest creators for the evening is awesome. The energy in the room, from fellow creators, and from the whole WA book community is wonderful. For myself, I think I have planned what I am going to say, but then I get all swept up in the amazement of the speakers before me, and always end up saying something slightly different.  Afterwards, getting to chat and sign books for audience members, is warming and affirming.  My drive home to Bunbury afterwards is long, but I smile all the way.
Sally Murphy
A Night With Our Stars saw an abundance of wine and wit, finger food and friendly faces. Presenting Filthy Fergal gave me a chance to talk dirty to a captive audience. I can now cross this off my bucket list.
Sigi Cohen

Steve Heron’s talk about his book Maximus caught me off guard. His explanation about an angry young boy finding a friend in a magpie was really touching and I found myself thinking about equity versus equality for students with these issues. Meg McKinlay’s Duck!, illustrated by Nathaniel Eckstrom, was a beautiful perspective of the mini humans in our lives whose voices sometimes get ignored. Alicia Tuckerman discussed the lack of a LGBT+ point of view when she would visit the library. Alicia’s solution - write one! I was excited to see If I Tell You on display, having been told to read it only days earlier. Amanda Betts (A.J. Betts) requested the audience to imagine if the room we were currently sitting in was our entire world. It was a great hook to discuss her YA novel Hive, as well as the soon-to-be-released sequel, Rogue

ANWOS was filled with laughter, bittersweet moments, and well-earned applause, and it only solidified my faith in the writing community of WA. I thank all the organisers for their hard work, and for welcoming me along. I also congratulate all the artists for their success, as well as their courage to promote their works. I will definitely be attending in 2020. 
Beck Borona

Make Your Own Story Book Competition 

2019 Make Your Own Story Book Competition

Closing Friday June 7th!

Our judges are looking forward to reading your entries.


Please go to the CBCA WA website for the entry form, tips pages, photographs of past winning entries and other information.


For enquiries: please email Denise Robins myosbwa@cbca.org.au 

Book Discussion Group 
24 April
CBCA 2019 
Book of the Year Short List Discussion
and Judge's Talk
Oasis House
Hampden Road

29 May
Lenny's Book of Everything
By Karen Foxlee

UWA University Club
Members' Room


June 26 
What I Like About Me
by Jenna Guillaume

UWA University Club
Members' Room
New CBCA Instagram Account

The Communications Subcommittee recently launched a new CBCA National Instagram account @cbcaustralia (@cbca was unavailable). This, along with our Facebook and Twitter accounts, will be used to communicate our key announcements and to share interesting and relevant content with our members and followers. Just a reminder to use the hashtag #CBCA2019 when promoting any events.

CBCA 13th National Conference
Register Here
Between The Lines Festival

Photo Gallery 

Authors and illustrators participating in the 2019 Between the Lines festival – a joint initiative between St Mary MacKillop College and Dymocks Busselton - were given a warm welcome by hosts Mike Jones and Beth Herbert at Busselton Guest House, their comfortable home away from home for the next few days. 

On Thursday 28 March the focus of the festival was on secondary students with WA presenters Kate McCaffrey, Jon Doust and Amanda Betts joined by Mark Smith and Matt Ottley from interstate. Students from schools in the surrounding district took advantage of the opportunity to meet these authors, illustrators and composers and the St Mary MacKillop College campus was an ideal location. The South West English Teachers Association (SWETA) also took advantage of having so much creative talent in the area by inviting everyone to attend their meeting where Kate McCaffrey was the guest speaker on the topic of teaching ATAR English.

The focus shifted to primary students on Friday with James Foley, Mark Greenwood, Frané Lessac, Norman Jorgensen, Danny Parker, and Gavin Aung Than joining Mark and Matt to inspire and entertain an enthusiastic audience. The inaugural draw-a-thon held in the hall to conclude the festival was a definite highlight for students from Years 2-6. Danny Parker deserves a medal for his MC and crowd-wrangling skills as Norman told a tale especially written for the occasion, which Frané, James, Gavin and Kelly Canby illustrated (individually and collectively) with a few extra challenges thrown in from the very vocal and animated crowd. It was a wonderful conclusion to a hugely successful event.

On Saturday morning Beth invited the creators to a signing event outside her Dymocks bookstore where Kelly, James and Gavin had festooned the window displaying everyone’s books with cartoons and sketches.

Special credit is due to Beth Herbert from Dymocks Busselton for coming up with the original festival concept and to Kerry Muste, Librarian and Jo Paini, Head of Primary and all the SMMC staff for their contributions. Thanks to Frank Norton, Principal for his ongoing support of the festival and to all staff and students for their generous hospitality in sharing the school campus.
Jan Nicholls

Champions Multiculturalism in Australian Children’s Books 


The National Centre for Australian Children’s Literature is pleased to offer Australia’s First Cultural Diversity Database (CDD)


How did this collection begin?

NCACL drew on its own collection and knowledgeable volunteer staff, consulted with teachers, teacher librarians, librarians, literacy and literature experts, academics and staff at the ACT Education Directorate 


What does the CDD offer?

  • ‘mirrors’ for young people to see themselves and ‘windows’ for others to see them 
  • 340 high quality Australian books aimed at early childhood to late secondary
  • diverse genres and artistic styles 
  • quick and easy access to quality resources for teachers, librarians, parents, caregivers, home schooling groups and others working with young people  
  • intuitive, user-friendly search design for locating author, illustrator, title, series, publisher, publication date, Australian Curriculum, Early Years Learning Framework, audience level, key concept and annotation


Freely available from NCACL’s website


ABIA Awards
special congratulations to WA folks
AJ Betts, Ambelin & Ezekiel Kwaymullina and Magabala Books for Black Cockatoo
Recent Book Launches From
WA Authors and Illustrators

The Incurable Imagination
by Paul Russell and Aśka 
Published by EK Books

The ‘imagination doctor’ was in residence, prescribing large doses of reading to a packed courtyard as Jen Jackson welcomed everyone to Paper Bird Books & Arts for a wonderfully creative book launch on the balmy afternoon of Sunday 31 March. Published by EK books The Incurable Imagination is written by Paul Russell and illustrated by one of our recent ANWOS stars, Aśka.
Jasmine Milton



by Kelly Canby
Published by Fremantle Press

If you were near Subiaco Public Library at 6pm on Monday March 25 you could have reasonably thought a massive pyjama party was taking place.  Well it was!  The launch of Kelly Canby’s latest picture book Rodney was underway, and thousands (it seemed like it!) of children had taken over the library enjoying pizza and Rodney cupcakes.  Official launcher Kylie Howarth amazed the children with her stylish stilt walking and gave Rodney a rousing introduction to the world of children’s books.  I highly recommend the story of Rodney, the small tortoise with a BIG dream.
Felicia Harris


Catch A Falling Star
by Meg McKinlay
Published by Walker Books

When Meg took her place in front of the microphone, she was soon to find out that space stations were not the only things that could fall from the sky as balloons of sparkling glitter burst, almost in unison, (with perhaps a little help from Deb Fitzpatrick and a pointy stick) above her head in a symbolic coronation of stardust.

Catch a Falling Star was dedicated to Meg’s father, who she believes gave her both the logic and the magic to write the stories that she does. We as readers, thank the heavens he did.
Sharon Hough

The Day We Built The Bridge
by Samantha Tidy and
Fiona Burrows
Published by Midnight Sun Publishing

On 24 February, it was standing room only for the launch of a picture book about the building of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Guests celebrated with cupcakes (decorated to match the book’s endpapers), lamingtons, Iced Vovos, and themed craft activities. Then, mere seconds before Norman Jorgenson could cut the yellow ribbon and declare The Day We Built the Bridge launched, a young upstart leapt forward with a sword - slashing the ribbon and Norman’s hopes of performing his official duties. Unlike the 1932 incident involving Francis de Groot, no hooliganism charges were laid.
Rebecca Newman


Alison Lester and Jane Godwin

The Paper Bird Books and Arts courtyard was filled with smiling faces on Thursday 21 March when Alison Lester and Jane Godwin came to visit. The Paper Bird residents, past Paper Bird Fellows and members of the public gathered to welcome Alison and Jane. It was a lovely morning of talking, cake-eating, book-signing and baby-cuddling.
Amber Moffat

New Releases From WA
Authors, Illustrators and Publishers in May and June

Fiona Burrows
Violet and Nothing
Fremantle Press
1 May 2019

Meg Caddy 
Devil's Ballast 
Text Publishing
7 May 2019

Caisley Raewyn and
Ann James 

The Mermaid's Tale
Penguin Puffin Nibbles
May 2019


Ferris Fleur and
Briony Stewart 

Nullaboo Hullabaloo 
Penquin Random House 
10 May 2019

Mark Greenwood and
Terry Denton

Walker Books
May 2019

Kathryn Lefroy
Alex And The Alpacas Save The World 
Fremantle Press
May 2019

Amanda Betts
Pan Macmillan 
25 June 2019

Norman Jorgensen
The Wreckers' Revenge
Fremantle Press
June 2019
Kirsty Murray and
Karen Blair 

When Billy Was a Dog 
Allen and Unwin 
June 2019

Meg McKinlay
Annabel Again 
Walker Books
1 June 2019 
Re issue 


Amber Moffat 
I Would Dangle The Moon 
Midnight Sun Publishing 
29 June 2019

Josh Pyke and 
Chris Nixon 

Lights Out, Leonard
Penguin Books Australia

4 June 2019

Teena Raffa-Mulligan
The Fifty Percent Princess and
Other Good Reads

Sea Song Publications 
June 2019 

Teena Raffa-Mulligan and
Amy Calautti

When The Moon Is A Smile 
Daisy Lane Publishing
June 2019

T.C. Shelley 
The Monster Who Wasn't
June 2019 
Paper Bird Fellowship 
I found myself amongst a group of talented folk at the Paperbird Fellowship Evening where outgoing Fellow Amber Moffat shared her writing journey for her soon to be launched picture book I Would Dangle the Moon.

Jen Jackson hosted the event and Frané Lessac asked the right questions to get Amber talking. Amber’s support group included her SCBWI colleagues and many were on hand to cheer her on as she spoke about the story and illustration
development of her book.

Amber’s time as the Paperbird Fellow was well spent, resulting in
a gorgeous picture book where every page is filled with bright colour, supporting her whimsical storyline. Keep an eye out for the official book launch on June 29.

Denise Robins
The Australian Children's
Laureate Foundation

The Australian Children’s Laureate Foundation (ACLF) was established to promote the transformational power of reading, creativity and story in the lives of young Australians. Since 2012, beloved authors and illustrators Alison Lester AM, Boori Monty Pryor, Jackie French AM, Leigh Hobbs and Morris Gleitzman have served as Laureates, appointed for their prominent and colourful contribution to Australian children’s literature.
The inaugural ACLF Summit was held at the Sibyl Centre at the University of Sydney on 28 February 2019. AISWA offered educators the opportunity to apply for a limited number of sponsorships to attend the Summit. As the K-12 Literature Specialist at Carey Baptist College, Harrisdale, I felt tremendously blessed to be accepted as one of the eleven WA delegates to embark on a whirlwind trip to Sydney for the event.

All five of our Laureates attended the Summit to share what they had learned during each of their two year ‘reigns’. I must admit that I was terribly awestruck to see Alison, Boori, Jackie, Leigh and Morris sharing the stage! I felt as though I was gazing up at a group of rockstars, or even the royal family! It was truly inspiring to hear each of them speak on their experiences as they travelled both nationally and internationally as Laureates, even visiting remote communities, to champion reading and help students create their own stories.
Leigh Hobbs described his journey as “a great honour” and admitted “I learnt as much as I taught,” a sentiment which genuinely seemed to resonate with his fellow Laureates.
Having been treated to a series of engaging panel discussions and Q&A sessions moderated by Libby Gleeson AM and Robyn Ewing AM, delegates were invited to join groups led by each of the Laureates to discuss topics such as embedding a reading culture in schools and communities; making children’s books more central to the Australian literary scene; and the importance of making spaces for children to be creative, free of assessment. We were even given a sneak peek of upcoming fiction releases from publishers Allen & Unwin, Penguin Random House and Omnibus Books.
I felt as though I had dined on such a rich smorgasbord of wisdom, proffered by Laureates and guest speakers alike, that I was at risk of needing a nap for my ‘food coma’! A glance around the table at my fellow (jetlagged) WA delegates confirmed that I might not be the only one feeling a little overwhelmed by it all, wondering how on earth I was going to be able to share all that I had learned when I returned home.
I think, however, that a simple statement by Jackie French best summarised the most challenging message of the Summit when she urged us to “never underestimate the power of story.”
Morris Gleitzman, our current Laureate, charged us to remember that “a culture which celebrates story has the best chance of advancing in the best way possible.”
As someone who works in a school library, it was deeply comforting to be reminded that my fight is not in vain. It was also so empowering to be reminded that reading with children not only produces literate kids, but balanced, grounded, happy kids who feel they belong; and who learn to see that there is a world they not only have a place in, but which they can change for the better.
To quote Jackie again, there is a “magic book” for every child which will set them on the path to a lifelong love of reading. The Summit left me feeling so proud to work in an environment which affords me the privilege of helping our students discover their magic book.
I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to Ron Gorman and Ana Randall at AISWA for allowing me to attend the Summit.

Erin Mazanec
Perth Writers Festival

Perth Festival Writers Week – Our Imagined Selves

Although I haven’t yet read Lenny’s Book of Everything by Karen Foxlee, I’ve read plenty about it including comments from some of my favourite children’s authors:

 'Such a big heart and not a beat out of place.'

'Tough, tender and beautiful.'


'Karen Foxlee, you're a genius.'

When I saw that Karen was being interviewed by Barbara Horgan on Sunday 24 at UWA, I was there to find out what all the fuss was about.  It turns out that Lenny’s Book of Everything is a book for everyone, not just children. 

Karen wanted to write about loving someone who’s different and finding the good in the bad. Lenny’s brother Davey has a condition similar to pituitary gigantism which means that he just keeps growing and growing. Karen, a registered nurse with a BA in Creative Writing, wanted to write about illness and how people come together when someone is dying, as a way of sorting things out in her own life after the death of someone close to her.

Receiving a Fellowship Grant through the State Library of Queensland allowed Karen to write a great deal in six months. She wrote back stories for all the main characters almost as if they had their own books. After imagining grey stone buildings she decided to set the story in 1970’s Ohio. As a way of structuring the story letter by letter, Karen decided that Cindy, the children’s mother, would win a set of encyclopaedias that were mailed in instalments. Half way through the story, Karen still didn’t know what would happen in the end so she went forward and wrote the ending and then went back to complete the story. 

Karen has been overwhelmed by the many people who have told her how much the book has touched them. Now I’m very keen to read Lenny’s Book of Everything but can’t seem to find a copy anywhere. Funny that.

Gail Spiers

Little Book Bites
If you have a picture of a child, pet or any other interesting-bookish moment you'd like to share with our community to feature in our electronic newsletter, we'd love to see it! Please email to Beck Borona
Dates for Your Diary 
Full Program Here
Book Tickets Here
Fremantle Press
Great Big Book Club Read
will be held on May 22nd
The Edith Spiegeltent, WAAPA
(between buildings 1 and 5),
Bradford St, Mt Lawley.
Wednesday, May 22nd 6-8pm 

In conjunction with the Fogarty Literary Award announcement with refreshments available for purchase or guests have the option of bringing their own along. Our childrens’ and YA authors Fiona Burrows, Kathryn Lefroy, Kelly Canby, Norman Jorgensen and Rafeif Ismail will be reading from their forthcoming books.

The event is free but registration is required. 

See What's On here

Paper Bird Books and Arts
42 Henry St, Fremantle
Saturday, 29 June 2019, 3pm

Join us for the launch of 
Amber Moffat’s picture book 
I Would Dangle the Moon

To be launched by Briony Stewart

Book signing! Craft activities! Cake!
RSVP here.

SLWA linking with the Book Week Theme: Reading is My Secret Power
Mon 19 Aug
4.00 - 6.00pm 

Term 3 Primary History Teachers Assocation will present Literature links to History.
PD to be followed by Networking Dinner
VALE Tomi Ungerer

'The renowned French cartoonist, author and illustrator Tomi Ungerer, a lifelong activist who protested against racial segregation, the Vietnam war and the election of US President Donald Trump, has died at the age of 87 in Ireland' Read on here

WA Branch Supporting Book Stores 
Buy your books from the experts at these stores
and receive the discount offered to all CBCA members. 

Beaufort Street Books
567 Beaufort Street
Mt Lawley WA 6050
T: (08) 6142 7996

Child Education Services
96 Royal Street,
East Perth WA 6004
T: (08) 9225 6516 

Dymocks Busselton
48 Prince Street,
Busselton WA 6280
T: (08) 9754 4410

Millpoint Caffe Bookshop
254 Mill Point Road
South Perth WA 6151
T: (08) 6117 5603


Paper Bird, Children’s Books & Arts
42 Henry St
Fremantle WA 6160
T: (08) 9430 7038

Rabble Books & Game
2/46 Eighth Avenue
T: (08) 6244 1841


152 Burswood Road,
Burswood WA 6100
T: (08) 9361 4211

CBCA Awards Foundation 
CBCA WA Branch Information 
CBCA WA Branch Committee Members
President - Jan Nicholls, Vice President - Denise Robins,
Liz Allen, Nola Allen, Beck Borona, Lorreen Brand, Sharon Coppin, Amanda Crossley, Jodie Davidson, Mary Gimondo, Julie Griffin, Felicia Harris, Sheena Matthews, Chloe Mauger, Trish Montgomery, Aniek Ragan, Gail Spiers, Jane Stanton, Sue Stopher, Nareeda Tillman, Sally Woffenden
National Board Director: Angela Briant
Newsletter Editor: Beck Borona
Website Manager: Aniek Ragan
WA Book of the Year Judges: Felicia Harris, Anne-Marie Strother
Copyright © 2019 Children's Book Council of Australia, All rights reserved.

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