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Lady Cutler Award

The Lady Cutler Award commemorates the contribution to the Children’s Book Council NSW Branch by Lady Helen Cutler.

The award is presented at The Lady Cutler Dinner.

The recipient of the 2016 Lady Cutler Award is Paul Macdonald. Find full details here.


  • Lady Cutler (AC, DStJ, CStJ) 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 in 1990.
  • Lady Cutler is pictured to the right on the occasion of being Invested with the Companion of the Order of Australia in 1980.

 Lady Cutler saw her role as one of service to the community.

  • She recognised the needs of children and encouraged CBCA NSW Branch 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.
  • From  2012 the award came full circle with Eddie Coffey taking up the sponsorship in the name of his bookshop, Peribo.