Honours for Australian storytelling efforts

Published on Thu 10 November 2016 1:30pm

Mr Wilson (1:30pm) — I would like to acknowledge the winners of the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards announced this week. As someone who has given writing a go at various times and is the representative of an electorate with a strong literary and publishing heritage.

I want to recognise the sustained effort that is required to craft and tell important Australian stories. I would like to particularly mention Meg McKinlay, who won the young adult fiction category with her book, A Single Stone. Meg is a writer and poet from Fremantle who has made a significant contribution through her art. I also acknowledge Lisa Gorton, who won in the fiction category for her debut novel, The Life of Houses. Lisa is already an award-winning poet. She is a close family friend and the granddaughter of former Prime Minister Sir John Gorton.

It was also wonderful to see the great Sally Morgan win the children’s book prize for Sister Heart, a verse novel about the experiences of the stolen generations. Sister Heart was published by Fremantle Press, which last week celebrated its 40th birthday. I was very happy to attend the celebrations with the member for Brand. I attended as the plus-one for my wife, Georgia, who is the fiction and nonfiction publisher at Fremantle Press.

The birthday event doubled as an opportunity to announce this year’s winner of the City of Fremantle TAG Hungerford Award—Jay Martin, for her novel, Learning Polish. I congratulate CEO Jane Fraser; the entire crew at Fremantle Press; and all the writers who laboured over a manuscript that was ultimately considered for these literary awards, whether they entered, were short-listed or won.

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