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The Lady Cutler Award

For details of the 2014 Lady Cutler Award recipient, please click here.

For bookings, please go to this link.

Details for the Lady Cutler Award Dinner is available to download here.


The Award

The Lady Cutler Award commemorates the contribution to the Children’s Book Council NSW Branch by Lady Helen Cutler. Lady Cutler was the first patron of the Children’s Book Council NSW Branch, accepting the appointment in 1966, when her husband Sir Roden Cutler became Governor of New South Wales. Lady Cutler had an abiding interest in children and children’s literature and she and Sir Roden were regular visitors to Book Week celebrations, enjoying in particular the children and their spontaneous lack of ceremony. Even after Sir Roden’s retirement, Lady Cutler continued as Patron of the CBCA NSW Branch until her death.
 Lady Cutler saw her role as one of service to the community. She recognised the needs of children and encouraged CBCA members to advance the cause of children’s literature throughout the state. While many do make a significant contribution in this area, their work is often unrecognised, so, in 1981 the NSW Committee, headed by then President, Edward Coffey, inaugurated the Lady Cutler Award, with sponsorship from Hodder & Stoughton Australia (later Hodder Headline Australia, now Hachette, Australia). Sadly, after an association of 29 years, Hachette is no longer able to support this award. However, we are pleased to welcome Peribo as the new sponsor.

Lady Cutler Award

The Lady Cutler Award is an annual award presented for Distinguished Service to Children’s Literature, the accent being on Service. A recipient of the award, then, will have given service well beyond his or her professional association with children’s literature. Such service may have come in one or more ways:
  • Helping raise the standard of children’s literature through activities and vigorous work with the Children’s Book Council and other associated organisations
  •  Raising consciousness of the value of literature to children through speaking to or working with parents’ groups and community organisations
  • Bringing literature to children themselves—working in schools, through literary dinners or luncheons, club activities, Children’s Book Week activities
  •  Raising standards through involvement in awards—judging, chairing, promoting
  • Writing, lecturing, debating on areas of children’s literature, organising seminars and conferences relating to children’s literature
  • Personal and professional assistance and encouragement to writers, illustrators and publishers of children’s books
  • Being a resource person for the community i.e. a bookseller, teacher, librarian to whom parents and interested persons turn for information, guidance and advice.

The Lady Cutler Award shall be made annually and shall be announced and presented at a Lady Cutler Award Event.  The Award shall be administered by the committee of the Children’s Book Council of Australia  (NSW Branch) and sponsored by Peribo.



Selection and Judging

The Selection and Judging Committee

1.     Copies of nominations should be sent to the judges for perusal and research three weeks prior to judging.
2.     The Selection and Judging Committee will comprise of the CBCA NSW President and one other committee member, plus one representative from the State Library of New South Wales and one previous recipient of the award.

3. Alternative Members
  1. If any member of the selection committee is unavailable, the CBCA committee shall have the power to appoint an alternative.
  2. If any member of the judging committee is nominated for the award they must stand down and the committee appoint an alternative.
4. Nominees
  1. Nominees shall be or shall have been active in and supportive of the aims of the Children’s Book Council of Australia (NSW Branch) as set out in the constitution.
  2. They shall have made a significant contribution to children’s literature in any of its facets, primarily in New South Wales.
  3. Should there be a number of nominees in any year whom the judges consider equally meritorious of the Award, the judges shall then give preference to those for whom no other award or honour is available in the field of children’s literature.
  4. A nominee who has been unsuccessful may be re-nominated without restriction in subsequent years.
  5. The judges may withhold the award if they consider no person of sufficient merit has been nominated.
  6. Nominees must be living at the time of nomination. In the event of the recipient dying after nomination, the award may be made posthumously.
  7. The judges have the right to hold over nominations from year to year should they consider a nominee particularly outstanding.


a.    Nominations should be made on an official nomination form which will be supplied with a stamped addressed envelope  on application to the Secretary of the NSW Branch of the CBCA.
b.   Nominations shall be addressed to: The Lady Cutler Award, c/- The Children’s Book Council of Australia (NSW Branch), PO Box 765, Rozelle NSW 2039
c.    Invitation for nominations shall be published in the last newsletter prior to the year of the award and repeated in the first newsletter of the new year.
d.    Nominations must be made and seconded by members of the CBCA.
e.    Nominations (which shall be no more than two A4 pages) shall be received up to one month prior to the presentation of the award. The judging panel shall advise the NSW Committee of their decision by no later than two weeks prior to the awards presentation.
Click here for Nomination From.


a.    Prior to the award, publicity will be given to the call for nominations in the CBCA newsletter and in the Weekly Book Newsletter.
b.    Immediately after the announcement of the award the secretary shall send out a press release to NSW newspapers, the Weekly Book Newsletter, the APA, the ABA and other relevant organisations.
c.    The press release will name the recipient of the Lady Cutler Award and will give due recognition to the sponsor of the award—Peribo.

Past Lady Cutler Award Recipients

2014 Jill B Bruce
2013 Vivienne Nicoll-Hatton
2012 Professor Robyn Ewing
2011 Margaret Wild
2010 Sarah Foster
2009 Christopher Cheng
2008 Dianne (Di) Bates
2007 Susanne Gervay
2006 Ernie Tucker
2005 Val Noake
2004 Robin Morrow
2003 Donna Rawlins
2002 Sandy Campbell
2001 Mark Macleod
2000 Helen Sykes
1999 Miranda Harrowell
1998 Kate Colley
1997 Libby Gleeson
1996 Glenise Meldrum
1995 Jean Walter Morgan
1994 Jean Ferguson
1993 Myra Lee
1992 June Smith
1991 Margaret Hamilton
1990 Jean Chapman
1989 Maurice Saxby
1988 Lydia Pender
1987 Val Watson
1986 Patricia Wrightson
1985 Walter Cunningham
1984 Anne Ingram
1983 Ena Noel
1982 Joyce Fardell
1981 Eve Pownall