To celebrate the amazing achievement of the CBCA’s 70th Book of the Year Awards, The CBCA Lifetime Achievement Award was presented at the Book of the Year Winners Presentation in Sydney on 19 August. This special award recognises a long-standing contribution by an Australian citizen to Australian children’s books and a lifetime commitment to Australian readers. 


Robert Ingpen’s widely acclaimed books and diverse artistic endeavours

and achievements have created a lasting legacy for Australian readers.


Robert Ingpen is a hugely successful illustrator on the international scene. He has written or illustrated more than 100 books. These include children’s picture books and stories for all ages. His non-fiction books mostly relate to history, conservation, environment and health issues. His achievements include:

  • For his services to Australian literature he was awarded an AM. He is the only Australian (with Patricia Wrightson in 1986) to have received the internationally prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award.
  • the design of many Australian postage stamps, as well as the Northern Territory flag and coat of arms.
  • the creation of a number of public murals in Geelong, Melbourne, Canberra and the Gold Coast.
  • the design of bronze statues, which include the Poppykettle Fountain in the Geelong Steam Packet Gardens, and the bronze doors to the Melbourne Cricket Club.
  • the design and working drawings for a tapestry, which was woven by The Victorian Tapestry Workshop, to celebrate the 150 years of the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
  • In 1982 Ingpen designed the Dromkeen Medal for the Governors of the Courtney Oldmeadow Children’s Literature Foundation. The Dromkeen Medal is awarded annually to Australians in recognition of contributions to children’s literature and Ingpen received it himself in 1989 for his own work in the field.
  • Ingpen was illustrator for the centenary editions of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan and Wendy and Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows for which he bases characterisations on contemporary figures and personalities. This grew into an impressive series of classics (published by Palazzo) which will culminate with the 150th anniversary edition of Alice Through the Looking Glass in 2016.
  • In 2007 Ingpen illustrated a picture book by Liz Lofthouse called Ziba Came on a Boat, which was nominated for many Australian awards including the CBCA Awards and the WA Premier’s Book Awards.
  • In 2015 Tea and Sugar Christmas was chosen as an Honour Book in the CBCA Eve Pownall Category.
  • Storm Boy (written by Colin Thiele) is an enduring classic which is still in print.

 Congratulations Robert! 

CBCA Book of the Year Awards 2016

Congratulations to all our winners!

The Children’s Book Council of Australia has announced the prestigious 2016 CBCA Book of the Year Awards, recognising the depth of talent in Australian children’s literature.

Professor Margot Hillel, Chair of the CBCA National Board says, “It’s wonderful for our much-loved authors and illustrators to be acknowledged for their work, and we’re thrilled to see new writers in the mix across all categories.”

Celebrating our 70th anniversary, the CBCA Book of the Year Awards reflect the strength and diversity of Australia’s book industry. With over 400 books entered for this year’s awards, the judges have the difficult task of choosing just one winner and two honour book recipients in each of the five award categories.

Prizes for winning and honour books are funded by the CBCA Awards Foundation, set up in 1996 with $1million from a national fund-raising campaign. These funds are held in trust and earnings on investments each year fund the prizes.

According to Professor Hillel, “Australian picture books are recognised internationally for their innovative approach to illustration, pushing boundaries in design and media.  In our long association with children’s literature what hasn’t changed is the joy children experience with a real book—hugging it, smelling it, turning the pages, sharing it with an adult.” 

Following the Awards announcement, Children’s Book Week begins with activities in libraries, schools and communities across the country. This year’s theme is Australia! Story Country and will see children’s book character parades taking place in schools and talented librarians creating amazing displays, all to celebrate the Australian children’s book industry.

“Having access to quality literature is so important for children, from early childhood books which are crucial in developing early literacy, through to YA books helping older readers tackle contemporary problems. The 2016 winning and honour books are the tip of the iceberg of delightful, surprising and fascinating Australian books available today,” says Hillel.

Take a look at all the Honour books and Winning titles at our special CBCA Book of the Year coverage here:


Advocacy: Proposed Changes to Copyright Law

Read below the submission made by the CBCA to the Productivity Commission in relation to the proposed changes to Copyright Law. 

The Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) has been supporting Australian writers and illustrators since our inception in 1945. Through our work, we know that literature for children and young adults makes a significant contribution to building and maintaining our Australian cultural life.

As the premier organisation on literature for young people in this country, the CBCA is strongly opposed to any changes to intellectual property laws which could damage the distinctive voice of the books created in this country or which could damage the livelihood of creators and ultimately the publishing industry as a whole. High-quality Australian children's literature has a long lifespan and the CBCA affirms that authors and illustrators deserve to be duly compensated for both the quality and longevity of their work. We urge the government to give careful consideration to the correct balance between content creators and end users in intellectual property reform.

Finally, we respectfully suggest that additional research and genuine consultation into the impact of the suggested changes on the various stakeholder groups affected is needed. CBCA would be willing and interested in being part of such a consultation group.

Professor Margot Hillel OAM

Chair, National Board, The Children’s Book Council of Australia 

Established in 1945, the Children's Book Council of Australia (CBCA) is a not-for-profit, volunteer run organisation which aims to engage the community with literature for young Australians.

The CBCA presents annual awards to books of literary merit, for outstanding contribution to Australian children's literature.

In 2015, the CBCA celebrated 70 years of enjoying and promoting the best of Australian literature for children and young people.