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On Friday I had the pleasure of attending the annual Dromkeen Librarian’s Award lunch. I was fortunate to win a ticket through the Australian Standing Orders Competition at the recent ASLA 2011 conference.

If you don’t know about the history of Dromkeen, have a look here. It’s a gorgeous old homestead that has been the champion of Australian children’s literature for a long time.

dromkeen

Before the lunch began, I had time to look at the two exhibitions. The amazing originals from Graeme Base’s new book The Jewel Fish of Karnak were on display (and how fascinating to read how Graeme is now using digital technology to draw) as well as those from Nancy Bentley: The First Australian Female Sailor, illustrated by Jacqui Grantford.

It was an honour to sit next to Australian literary legends Glenda Millard and Patricia Mullins on one side and the up-and-coming YA author Kaye Baillie on the other.

This year’s winner was Heather Heraud from Loyola College who has done an incredible amount of voluntary work at Radio 3RPH, broadcasting on children’s and YA literature for 10 years. Congratulations Heather.

The day also included a Q & A session with Rolf Heimann, Greg Holfeld and Brenton McKenna, who discussed their work on graphic novels.

One downer was the mention of the questionable future of Dromkeen. Hopefully there will be a way forward for such an icon in Australian children’s and YA literature.

Congratulations to all involved on a fantastic day! I hope there will be many more to come.

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