Awards Day 2008

This year the Awards went out west! Thanks Blacktown City Council, Blacktown City Libraries, Duncan Ball, Ursula Dubosarsky, Anna Fienberg, Kim Gamble, Catherine Jinks, Chris Milne, Emily Rodda and all the students who attended Awards Day 2008 in Blacktown on 22nd October. It was a great day despite the weather. It is the first time that authors have had to come through snow to attend Awards Day! Check out the Winners , and here are some photographs from the day. Full photo gallery on Picasa. Alexander's blog post at Pretxts.


Awards Day 2007

What a fabulous day! With 24 schools and 20 authors & illustrators attending the awards, KOALA certainly celebrated 21 years in style!  It was a very festive day, especially for all the children who waited eagerly for the announcement of the winners. We were fortunate to have all the category winners present to receive their awards in person – Margaret Wild & Deborah Niland , Andy Griffiths & Morris Gleitzman.

Other authors & illustrators who attended were Deb Abela, Matt Dray, Anna Fienberg, John Flanagan, Chris Milne, Bruce Whatley, Matthew Reilly, Duncan Ball, Allan Stomann, Kim Gamble, Sally Odgers, Janine Dawson, Felice Arena, Ursula Dubosarsky, & also Richard Tulloch who had everyone holding their breath with the story of Brian Hobble being strangled by a boa constrictor!

For the kids from Austinmer Public, a highlight was winning an original Tashi illustration, which Kim Gamble drew on the stage during the ceremony. Other winning schools were Orana Heights PS who received a box of books worth $300; and St Joseph’s Kilaben Bay who took home a set of KOALA Syba Signs for their library. All students attending the awards received a book thanks to the generosity of publishers.


Awards Day 2006


The 2006 KOALA AWARDS were held on 20th October at Taronga Zoo. This year KOALA celebrated its 20th birthday and the day was a big hit for the kids who attended. They were rewarded with the chance to meet some of their favourite authors & illustrators!

A huge thank you to the authors and illustrators, some of whom travelled far to be present :

Felice Arena, Alyssa Brugman, Morris Gleitzman, Andy Griffiths, Richard Tulloch, Carole Wilkinson, Duncan Ball, Allan Stomann, Kim Gamble, Libby Gleeson, Darrell & Sally Odgers, Janine Dawson, Pamela Allen, Matt Dray, Pamela Lofts, Lachie Hume, Alison Lester & Julie Mullins.

They shared words of inspiration & Felice was most entertaining with the assistance of one of the children from the audience.

We are very proud to announce this years winners, check them out on the winners page !

Pamela Allen's book Mr McGee and the Biting Flea was entered into the KOALA Hall of Fame . Another highlight of the ceremony was the announcement of two new KOALA Legends . Morris Gleitzman and Richard Tulloch were presented with an award in recognition of their significant contribution to KOALA.

A donation of $205 was raised on the day to sponsor two (real) koalas at the zoo. Many thanks to students, teachers, authors, illustrators & publishers who contributed.

We look forward to our big 21st birthday party next year!  

image 1: Maddison and her new friends at Taronga Zoo

image 2: Julie Mullins and Felica Arena with their KOALA Awards.


Thank you so much for such a wonderful honour on Friday. Becoming a KOALA Legend is one of my proudest achievements.  I’ll treasure it. And thank you for a delightful day. I can’t imagine a better-organised or more enjoyable celebration of what we all do. Congratulations. You’re legends too.
Morris Gleitzman

Just wanted to say thanks to you & the committee for a great day last Friday. Our students thoroughly enjoyed the experience & got a lot out of it. I know you've all worked hard to get it all ready, & it really paid off. We loooooved Matt Dray!! Thanks so much for all you've done,
St Martha's, Strathfield


Awards Day 2005

The 2005 Kids Own Australian Literature Awards (KOALA) were announced at Westmead Public School on the 31st October. It was a fabulous day especially for those children who had voted for their favourite Australian authors and illustrators and eagerly awaited the announcement of the winners. It was a close race and the winners were: 
  Picture Book Category Mutt Dog by Stephen Michael King; published by Scholastic 
  Younger Readers?Category TooCool Series by Phil Kettle & Craig Smith; published by Scholastic 
  Older Readers?Category The Bad Book by Andy Griffiths & Terry Denton; published by Pan Macmillan
Thanks to Scholastic Australia, Phil Kettle was able to fly in from Melbourne to accept his award in person and Pan Macmillan arranged for Terry Denton, also from Melbourne to accept the older readers award on behalf of himself and Andy Griffiths.

The Westmead Public staff and students were wonderful hosts on the day and the School Choir entertained the audience with their outstanding performance. Steven Herrick’s reading of some of his poems had everyone laughing and Bruce Whatley amazed us all with his drawing talent in between the announcements of the winners.

Many authors and illustrators were present and students from Telopea, Turramurra, Newtown and Chatswood Public Schools, Central Coast Grammar, St Martha’s Primary Strathfield, St Thomas Aquinas Primary Springwood, Mt Annan Christian College, St Luke’s Grammar Dee Why, St Josephs Primary Kilaben Bay, Our Lady of the Way Emu Plains, Loquat Valley Christian School Bayview, Pymble Ladies College and host school Westmead were delighted to meet and speak to Deborah Abela, Duncan Ball, Terry Denton, Anna & Barbara Fienberg, Steven Herrick, Phil Kettle, David Legge, Jeni Mawter, Justyn Walker and Bruce Whatley.

Terry Denton & Anna Fienberg joined Duncan Ball and Paul Jennings as KOALA legends recognising their contribution to children’s literature and children’s choice awards. Read their citations on the website.

Schools win
Thirroul Public School were the envy of every other school at Awards Day when they became the proud winners of a delightful 'Diary of a Wombat' illustration graciously drawn and donated by Bruce Whatley. Cherrybrook Public School won an original illustration donated by illustrator Allan Stomann from one of the Selby books and Cranbrook Junior School won $300 worth of books generously donated by Koala Books.
Many thanks to the Westmead Public School staff and students for hosting a fabulously memorable day. A BIG thank you also to our sponsors Koala Books for their assistance with the design and printing of kits and fliers and donating book prizes and SiteSuite for designing and hosting our website. Allan Stomann’s donation of artwork from the Selby books is also much appreciated.
ABC books, Allen & Unwin, HarperCollins Australia, Koala Books, Little Hare, Multimedia Interface, Pan Macmillan Australia, Penguin Group Australia, Scholastic Australia and Walker Books also donated books to give away to lucky KOALA members.

Awards Day 2006 is promising to be even bigger and better so start planning now to be there. More information on venue and date later.


Children lining up for their favourite author's signature

Just one of the examples of the artwork created by the school

 based on Bruce Whatley's "Little White Dogs Can't Jump"


Awards Night 2004

In 2004 Awards day was held on 4 November at Pymble Ladies College.


What a day it was! Duncan Ball, Graeme Base, Janine Dawson, Anna & Barbara Fienberg, Paul Jennings, Emily Rodda, Allan Stomann and Richard Tulloch were all there along with students from Glenhaven, Telopea, Turramurra, Wiley Park, Stanwell Park and Chatswood Public Schools, Central Coast Grammar, Meriden Junior School, St Benedicts Primary Edgeworth, St James Primary Kotara South, St Martha’s Primary Strathfield, St Thomas Aquinas Primary Springwood, Mt Annan Christian College, St Luke’s Grammar Dee Why, St Josephs Primary Kilaben Bay, Our Lady of the Way Emu Plains, Locquat Valley Christian School Bayview, St Philips Christian College Waratah and host school Pymble Ladies College.

We were so lucky to have two of the three category winners present to receive their awards in person - Graeme Base (TruckDogs) and Emily Rodda (Deltora Quest series 3). Leigh Hobbs (Old Tom ?Man of Mystery) was overseas and unable to attend.

Richard Tulloch’s reading of an extract from his book Weird Stuff had the whole auditorium laughing. It was so popular that the bookshop sold out of copies. If you don’t have it in your library take a recommendation from the 300 students at awards day and buy a copy.

For the kids from Chatswood Public School, a highlight of the day was winning an original Graeme Base illustration which he drew on stage during the ceremony. St Joseph’s Primary School won a framed picture of Selby for their school library and over 100 of the students present received a book thanks to the generosity of publishers.

Lake Macquarie Public Library won a box of books donated by Koala Books and valued at more than $200 and Thurgoona Public School (Albury), also won a book prize donated by publishers.

Special thanks go to Julia Elsey and staff and students at PLC who were a pleasure to work with and did everything possible to make it a great day.

Start planning now to attend Awards Day 2005. More information on venue and date later.


Anna & Barbara Fienberg
Bob Graham, Allan Stomann, Duncan Ball
Duncan Ball & Selby Dog
Emily Rodda & young fan
Kim Gamble draws
Rosie Smith & Bruce Whatley

Richard Tulloch & Janine Dawson
Graeme Base