In Memoriam

Narelle Oliver

1960 - 2016

Narelle Oliver passed away unexpected in early October. In partnership with the State Library of Queensland, the Queensland Writers Centre, Books Links (Qld) Inc., and CBCA (Qld Branch), Narelle's family held a deeply moving memorial service on Tuesday, 11 October, at SLQ, where the auditorium overflowed with mourners. One of the speakers Robyn Sheahan-Bright, talked about Narelle's literary legacy, and that speech has been posted at Reading Time. Megan Daley wrote a short personal tribute at her blog, Children's Books Daily.

Kim Gamble

1952 – 2016

Kim Gamble was born in Sydney. He moved around, trained as a teacher and worked in a variety of occupations before beginning, at the age of thirty-six, to illustrate stories for children. His first assignment was for the School Magazine, and he continued illustrating for the magazine for many years. It was there he met Anna Fienberg, with whom he produced more than twenty books, including The Magnificent Nose and Other Marvels, the Tashi series and Tashi picture books, the Minton series and a book close to his heart: Joseph. He worked with many authors and illustrated over seventy books in his career. Joseph was shortlisted for the 2002 CBCA Picture Book of the Year Award. Anna Fienberg’s tribute to Kim can be found at Reading Time Online.

Anne Hanzl 

1937 - 2015

A tribute to Anne Hanzl, a long standing member of the CBCA Victorian branch, has been posted at Reading Time Online

Elizabeth Green

1939 - 2014

A personal tribute to Beth Green, a long standing member of the CBCA Qld branch, has been written by Megan Daley and posted at her blog, Children's Books Daily.

Maurice Saxby

1924 - 2014

Maurice Saxby died only weeks before his 90th birthday. His contribution to both Australian's children and young adult literature, and to the CBCA cannot be easily defined or qualified. He received many tributes and awards. One was written by Margaret Hamilton AM and can be viewed at Reading Time Online

Jo Goodman

1940 - 2014

Dr Belle Alderman has written a memorable celebration of Jo's contribution to children's literature. Here is just part of her tribute.

'... Jo was a champion of Australian picture books. She was instrumental in establishing the Crichton award, first presented in 1998 and thereafter annually to encourage and recognise emerging illustrators in the field of Australian picture books. She was behind the organisation of the 1992 Reading the Pictures: A Seminar on Visual Literacy, (publication by the same name), one of the first national seminars where leading Australian picture book illustrators spoke about their art. Over the last few years, Jo has organised the Zart Art Seminars where authors, illustrators and publishers spoke about the art of picture books. Jo made meticulous notes at each of these seminars. These now form a permanent record in the Lu Rees Archives of Australian Children’s Literature ...'

Continue reading at Reading Time Online

Gregory Rogers

1957 - 2013

In honour of Greg's birthday on June 19th, Megan Daley posted this Queensland-flavoured celebratory blog for him.

Jan Ormerod

1946 - 2013

Obituary posted at Publishers Weekly

Max Fatchen 

1920 - 2012

A favourite amongst us all, few people in South Australia did not know of Max Fatchen. He began his writing career in Adelaide in his teenage years, writing for The News after 1948 and later for The Advertiser, for which he continued writing a regular column up until the week before he died.

He will be so very well remembered for his children’s stories and poems, many of which remain as treasured titles in school and public libraries – many of you will recall The River Kings, Chase Through the Night, The Spirit Wind, A Paddock of Poems, A Country Christmas and Australia at the Beach. He was the proud patron of the South Australian Branch of The Children’s Book Council of Australia. Whenever I spoke to Max he always wished to be remembered to his ‘friends in the Book Council’ and he commended us all on the fine work the CBCA was doing for children’s writers and for young readers. For many years he wrote a wonderful verse to fit the Book Week theme and his 2012 piece is a special one.

Max will be fondly remembered and his life celebrated by the CBCA.

Diane Margaret Burke OAM 

1943 - 2011

Di Burke was an extraordinary enterprising publisher who instigated full colour books and educational kits for primary and secondary school children relating to ANZAC Day and the ANZACs. Her first publication was Tom Curran's Not only a hero, a CBCA Notable Book in 1999. During 2001, Mary Small's The Unknown Australian Soldier was followed by Simpson and Duffy, and Vashti Farrer's Walers go to War. Simpson and Duffy was shortlisted for the Australian Awards for excellence in educational publishing for 2003. Feathered Soldiers co-authored by Vashti Farrer and Mary Small was published in 2005, followed by Seek! co-authored by Di Burke and Mary Small in 2009. Di for us was not only a publisher but a valued friend. She will be sadly missed. (written by Mary Small & Vashti Farrer)

Ian Abdulla 

1947 - 2011

Many obituaries have been posted, written and printed various publcations including the Aboriginal Art News and WA Today

Ruth Park 

1917 - 2010

Ruth Park was one of Australia's best loved authors of books for both adults and children. The Australian has an obituary, as does The Sydney Morning Herald and The Independent.

Kaye Keck 

Died Sept 14, 2010.

Kaye Keck passed away peacefully on the evening of Tuesday Sept. 14 2010, after a brief battle with cancer. She was Director, Dromkeen, National Centre for Picture Book Art for many years. Kaye was awarded the Leila St John Award in 2003, presented by the Victorian Branch of the CBCA for distinguished services to children's literature. 

Randolph Stow

Died May 29, 2010.  Obiturary from The Australian can be found here.

Jill Midolo

Died April 4, 2010. 

Anne Bower Ingram

Died March 26, 2010. Pioneering children's publisher, editor of Reading Time . Mark MacLeod has written a moving tribute at his blog.

Patricia Wrightson

1921 - 2010.

Patricia Wrightson, the great children's author and recipient of the Hans Christian Andersen award (1986) has died. She was 88 years old. She was without doubt one of the greatest figures ever in Australian children's literature and with her passing ends a remarkable era.  Mark MacLeod writes here

Kilmeny Niland

1950 - 2009.  Daughter of Ruth Park and D'arcy Niland, an acclaimed author and illustrator in her own right. The Sydney Morning Herald's obituary.

Ivan Southall

Died November 15,  2008.  According to his daughter, after a short battle with cancer. He won four CBCA awards, and the Carnegie Medal in 1972. He is best known for his novels. Hill's End, Josh and To the Wild Sky. He was 87.

Eleanor Spence AM

Died September 30, 2008.  Survived by her three children, Alister, Nigel and Lisette. Her first book, Patterson's Track was published in 1958. She went on to to write many others, covering a wide range of topics. Many of these went on to win accolades and awards, including The Green Laurel (1964) and The October Child (1977). In 2005, she was made a member of the Order of Australia for her contribution to Australian children's literature and her services to autism.

Leone Peguero

Died June, 2008.  Leonie was an inspiration, friend and generous mentor to many people and many writers. She helped publish many authors and illustrators with her publishing company Blue Cat Books.  She will be greatly missed by many people.

Nance Donkin

Died April 18, 2008.  Children’s author and Victorian Branch Life Member. Nance wrote prolifically during the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and is probably best remembered for her novels “House by the Water” (1969),  “Johnny Neptune” (1971) and the biography “Margaret Catchpole”.

Marcie Muir

Died November 17, 2007.  Best known for her definitive works on Australian children's literature and children's book illustration, the best known of these published in 1970, Australian Children's Books: A Bibliography. Her work was recognized by the Children's Book Council of Australia with the first Nan Chauncy Award in 1984 and the Library Council of Australia with the Redmond Barry Award in 1988.

Colin Thiele AC

1920 - 2006.  Author and educator. He was renowned for his award-winning children's fiction, most notably the novels Storm Boy, Blue Fin, Sun on the Stubble series, and February Dragon. 

In 1977 he was made a Companion of the Order of Australia, for his services to literature and education.

Neil Curtis

Died December 11, 2006 after a typically defiant battle with cancer. He was 56 years old. His work is loved and appreciated all over the world. His materials were unpretentious: pen and ink, paint, pencil; his style adventurous and exploratory, in turn anarchic, delicate, fierce, joyous. Neil's books include the award-winning Cat and Fish, Cat and Fish Go to See, Mr Noah and the Cats (published by Lothian) Pirates Eat Porridge (A&U) and many others. His beautiful and poignant memoir The Memory Book (A&U) was recently described by the LA Times as 'an antidote to verbosity and excessive imagery; in its simplicity it reconnects the image to the word and shows the jaded eye how powerful they can be together'.