Children's Book Council of Australia NSW Branch
The Childrens' Book Council of Australia (CBCA) NSW Branch Inc is a not for profit organisation primarily run by volunteers, that receives no government funding. It is a financially independent member of the Children’s Book Council of Australia and runs autonomously.
Our mission is to achieve positive social impact by engaging the community with literature for young Australians.
Best known for creating Children’s Book Week, CBCA was established at a time when Australian children’s books were few, and Australian authors and illustrators were virtually unknown. Running annually since 1946, the CBCA Book of the Year Awards promote Australian children's books of high literary and artistic merit. These awards are now celebrated in schools, libraries and throughout the general community. The CBCA also produces a range of promotional items to support Book Week celebrations.
CBCA NSW Branch Inc is a vibrant community of people passionate about connecting young people with books and raising awareness of the value of story. CBCA NSW Branch has seven associated sub-branches across NSW which interact directly with their local area. We assist authors, illustrators, publishers, booksellers and educational organisations to bring words, images and stories into the hearts and minds of children and adults.
CBCA NSW Branch believes that Australian children’s literature enriches our nation and nations across the world through international editions.
We welcome you to become a member and to share our vision.
Children's Book Council of Australia NSW Branch Patron
In April 2016 we were pleased to announce Ms Megan Mitchell, Australia’s first National Children’s Commissioner, as our new patron.
Megan’s role is to focus on the rights and interests of children, and she is passionate about making a difference in children’s lives.
We see Megan as a perfect fit in that CBCA NSW Branch believes strongly in the right of each child to have access to quality literature; for each child to come to love books and to pursue knowledge; and for each child to understand reading can develop empathy for characters and situations diverse from their own.
Megan Mitchell, Karen Jameyson, Bruce Pascoe and Gail Erskine
Children's Book Council of Australia NSW Branch
The Children's Book Council of Australia (CBCA) was established in Sydney in 1945. The Second World War had two effects on children’s books. Imports were restricted and a paper shortage curtailed local production, resulting in a groundswell among Australian educators to provide more and better locally produced books and to foster the growth of libraries for children and therefore improve literacy levels. Mary Townes Nyland worked at the USA Information Library in Sydney. When the US Children’s Book Council conceived the idea of sponsoring an International Children’s Book Week, she was the catalyst for an enthusiastic group who worked towards this. The US Information Library hosted a dinner for about twelve invited guests and were amazed at the response. Guests were authors, publishers, librarians, teachers and representatives from the Australian Broadcasting Commission. A committee was formed and the first Australian Children’s Book Week, held in November 1945, is generally regarded as the birth of The CBCA.
The main celebration every year is CBCA Book Week, but the NSW branch organises many other events throughout the year, including the presentation of the Lady Cutler Award for service to children’s literature in NSW. The full program can be found on the website or in the regular newsletters and notices to members.
Anyone who is interested and passionate about bringing children and books together - teachers, librarians, parents, booksellers - should be a member of the CBCA NSW branch and all members are encouraged and welcome to join a committee, either the main branch committee or a sub-branch committee, to help further this important work.
Margaret Hamilton AM.
September 27, 2019
The CBCA became a national organisation in 1958, with branches in every Australian state and territory, except the Northern Territory, which joined in 1991. The inaugural meeting was held in May 1959 at School Library Services in Sydney, with Maurice Saxby presiding as first National President. It is a not-for-profit, totally voluntary organisation, now administered by the CBCA National Board, made up of independent and branch directors. Branches across Australia organise local programs and events according to their members’ needs and the Board organises the CBCA Book of the Year Awards and the Biennial National Conference.
The CBCA NSW Branch held meetings at Library Services for many years. However, in 1989, Library Services relocated to Ryde, so the search was on for a meeting venue. The NSW Writers Centre at Rozelle was newly established, so this was a natural home for the CBCA NSW Branch, where they have had an office ever since. The NSW Branch is the largest branch, with a dedicated voluntary committee working tirelessly organising events and programs for members. There are also seven sub-branches that have their own enthusiastic committees organising local events and promotions of children’s books for members in their area.