More than 300 students, teachers, authors, illustrators, publishers and other friends of KOALA celebrated the 25th annual Awards Day at the fabulous Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre on 26th October.

To put us in a party mood each school was asked to make a party hat for one of the authors or illustrators attending. You should have seen the wonderful and very elaborate creations that the recipients had to model. It was great fun! (Austinmer Public School posted some great pictures, as did Thirroul Public School.)

And what a line-up of authors and illustrators were there. Bob Graham, Andy Griffiths, and Robyn Bavati flew in from Melbourne. Pat Flynn came down from Queensland to join local favourites Deb Abela, Duncan Ball, Rod Clement, Ursula Dubosarsky, Anna Fienberg, Kim Gamble, Catherine Jinks, Belinda Murrell, Oliver Phommavanh, Lisa Shanahan and Richard Tulloch in supporting KOALA.

Students from Austinmer Public School, St Mary's Primary School, Georges Hall, Thirroul Public School, Middleton Grange Public School, St Joseph's Primary School Moorebank, Holy Spirit College, Corrimal, Llandilo Public School, Wollondilly Anglican College, Fairfield Public School, The Oaks Public School, Holy Cross Primary, Glenwood, Mt Annan Christian College, Bringelly Public School, Ingleburn North Public School, Newtown Public School and St Jerome's Primary Punchbowl had the chance to meet the authors and illustrators and get their autographs.

The winners were announced and Andy Griffiths was there to collect a record 11th KOALA Award, this time in the Younger Readers category for The Very Bad Book. The audience loved him! Andy is a great supporter of KOALA, regularly making the trip up from Melbourne to join us. Thanks Andy!

Other winners were Mr Chicken goes to Paris by Leigh Hobbs (Picture Book), Book of Lies by James Moloney (Older Readers) and Girl Underground by Morris Gleitzman (Fiction Years 7-9).

Our newest KOALA Legend was announced and Bob Graham was genuinely surprised and delighted with the honour. It was so wonderful that he could join us for this announcement.

4F for Freaks by Leigh Hobbs which has been shortlisted five times was added to the KOALA Hall of Fame.

If you weren't at the 2011 KOALA Awards Day you missed a great day. Look out for details of the 2012 event and try to be there!