The major winner was Dr Nandi Chinna, who won the Western Australian Writer's Fellowship. Dr Chinna is an award-winning poet, teacher, research consultant and environmental activist with a special interest in cultural and ecological histories.
The Premier's Prize for Writing for Children was won by Shirley Marr for 'A Glasshouse of Stars'. Marr is a first-generation Chinese-Australian living in Perth and the winning book was inspired by folktales told by her mother and Marr's experiences of migrating to Australia as a child.
The Premier's Prize for an Emerging Writer was won by Dr Elfie Shiosaki for 'Homecoming'. Weaving together words from ancestral memory and government records, 'Homecoming' is a fresh, lyrical and complex work that recreates and repositions the voices of four generations of strong Noongar women who are Dr Shiosaki's ancestors.
The Daisy Utemorrah Award for Unpublished Indigenous Junior and Young Adult Writing Award was open to Indigenous writers from across Australia and won by Ugarapul woman Mariah Sweetman for the manuscript for 'Robert Runs'. The heartfelt story follows two best friends as they navigate growing up at the Deebing Creek Mission in Coordirjar (Queensland). The Daisy Utemorrah Award is administered and funded by Broome-based Indigenous publisher Magabala Books with support from the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries.
Also at the awards, Doris Pilkington Garimara AM (1937-2014) was inducted into the Western Australian Writers Hall of Fame. Pilkington Garimara, a Martu woman born Nugi Garimara, left a legacy of cultural understanding and transformational knowledge through her writing. Her most celebrated book, 'Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence', tells the experience of her mother being taken away from her family as a child. Years later, she was similarly taken from her mother at age four.
For more information about the Premier's Book Awards and the Writers Hall of Fame.
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