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Newcastle Sub-branch

 Office Bearers for 2016

PRESIDENT: Katrina McKelvey
VICE PRESIDENT: Kirrili Lonergan
SECRETARY: Gwynne Jones
TREASURER: Amanda Shirley
Val Noake
GENERAL COMMITTEE:Ruth Higginbottom, Cynthia Hyde, Linda Rigney and Liz Anelli


  • We have our very own sub-branch Facebook page.
  • Search for 'CBCA (NSW) Newcastle Sub-branch' to find us.


Meeting 1 (AGM and General): 10th February
Meeting 2: 16th March
Meeting 3: 4th May
Meeting 4: 15th June
Meeting 5: 14th September
Meeting 6 (Planning Meeting for 2017): 26th October
Christmas Party: Tuesday, 23rd November

Our LUNCH WITH THE STARS event will be back by popular demand! 

Date: Tuesday, 13th Septemer, 2016
Venue: Belmont 16ft Sailing Club
Time: 10:45am - 2pm (schools can start arriving from 10:15am)
Cost: $200/table CBCA members, $220/table non-CBCA members
Guest speaker: Sue Whiting
Invitations will be sent via our email list on Tueaday, 19th July.

(Note: no bookings will be made before this date)

Tables will seat 10 people (8 children from the same school, one supervising adult from the school, one local children's book author or illustrator)

There will be prizes, quizzes, books for sale and lots of inspiration flying around. Come and join us!

Full 2016 Calendar available via email (

New members always welcome.

Any enquiries about the Newcastle (NSW) Sub-branch can be directed to President, Katrina McKelvey
Phone: 0410 650 874 or email 
If you would like to know more about the businesses, authors and illustrators who are members of our sub-branch, you can find some of them on our sub-branch 'MEMBER'S LINKS' list here

Our year certainly ended on a high note with our first Lunch with the Stars event in November. Ten local school groups decorated their tables, enjoyed delicious food, listened to Libby Hathorn talk about her upcoming picture book A Soldier, a Dog and a Boy and were each presented with a copy of Libby’s Thunderwith, obtained by MacLean’s Booksellers from a James Patterson grant. We were most appreciative of local authors and illustrators supporting this event. Highlights certainly were the illustrator challenge and the delighted laughs and smiles from all involved, both children and adults. This is an event that we are looking forward to growing this year. 

 MacLeans' Bookseller, Hamilton's pop up bookshop during the Newcastle Writers Festival 2016

Our first three meetings in 2016 have focused on libraries. In February a panel of Teacher Librarians spoke about the particular challenges of school libraries, future directions and selection criteria. Visiting Lake Macquarie City Library, we met Kora the mascot for Paint the Lake Read an early literacy partnership between the library and local service providers. In May Newcastle Region Library spoke about the future for public libraries, digital trends and the way libraries can support local authors and illustrators. 

Kora, the mascot representing the Paint The Lake REaD program 2016 

We were again involved with the Newcastle Writers Festival Kids Program in March, with Katrina McKelvey and Julie Swane both involved in the planning and many of our members volunteering during the week. It was a thrill that four of our members, Katrina, Kirrili Lonergan, Lynn Jenkins and Renee Price, were this year asked to present in the schools program. They also presented at the Saturday Family Fun Day along with members Ant Wood, Gwynneth Jones, Liz Anelli and Susan Whelan. 

 NWF Family Fun Day 2016

The Family Fun Day was jam packed with our CBCA stars. Jess Black launched her first picture book Moon Dance andDeborah Kelly launched her first chapter book Ruby Wishfingers: Skydancers Escape. Illustrations from Liz Anelli’s picture book Desert Lake: the story of Kata Thanda - Lake Eyre (written by Pamela Freeman) were chosen as the Festival’s feature exhibition and have been extremely popular with school groups.     

 Desert Lake Exhibition 2016

In May we again had a presence at the Hunter Teacher Librarian’s conference. MANTLE provides a perfect opportunity for us to attract new members. We have also started planning our 2016 Lunch with the Stars event.

 Katrina McKelvey and Kirrili Lonergan at MANTLE Conference 2016

Don’t forget you can follow us during the year on Facebook.

Many thanks to Katrina for her tireless energy and enthusiasm. 

Written by Julie Swane, Publicity Officer