From the President

iRead - 2021 March Edition

Dear Members,


I think ‘Book Week is every week’ should be our mantra. The announcement of the Notables in February affirms this. The Book of the Year Award judges have been busily selecting the strongest candidates from the wide choices submitted by the publishers towards the end of last year. This year the CBCA South Australian Branch have produced two short videos for us all to use, which explain the annual selection process, one for kids and one featuring SA children’s author Janeen Brian. Janeen’s video challenges the audience to read as many books from the Notables as they can.


The launch of 2021 Collide with the Notables, our book trailer competition for kids, means that teachers and member schools have more time this year to create exciting book trailers, and we encourage kids to choose a book from the Notables list for their trailer. This year we have received a generous donation from the Rotary Club of North Sydney, which will be used for prizes in each section.  Thank you, Rotary Club of North Sydney and their President Toni Field.


You may wish to check our calendar of events for 2021 to make sure you don’t miss any of them. There is a lot planned for this year, and all members receive substantial savings on all CBCA events. We are particularly excited by the AAA International PD Conference which will explore the inner worlds of Poetry over  2 days, featuring both local and international speakers. Online and flexible, this conference provides an excellent opportunity for teachers across Australia to expand their knowledge of Poetry, while acquiring those important Elective PD hours.


As is the legal requirement, we will be holding our Annual General Meeting on April 17 at 3pm. We will be on Zoom. A notice will go out shortly, so RSVP to the invitation and we will send you a link to the meeting. Consider becoming a member of the CBCA NSW committee, either in a position or to assist with the organisation of events. CBCA is your organisation. Being involved means the organisation better meets your expectations. Check your membership is up-to-date as only members can vote and nominate at meetings.


I want to alert you to an opportunity to volunteer, even from a distance, to assist regularly with our social media. CBCA NSW Branch has been producing regular social media posts for the last year or so with the generous assistance of Bronwyn Birdsall. Bronwyn is now stepping aside from that role. I would like to thank Bronwyn for the fabulous job she did getting us up there and established on social media. If you are interested, please email Felicity.


We have just seen the fabulous, evocative poster Shaun Tan has created for this year’s CBCA Book Week. The father and child from the old world, walking through a meadow of flowers, heading towards a world of fantastical buildings and flying machines, I think will generate lots of conversations and writing about ‘Old Worlds, New Worlds, Other Worlds’. This merchandise will be popular.


The list of judges of the Book of the Year for 2022 and 2023 is now available. We have 4 members who have bravely taken on the challenge for the next 2 years. They are Kathryn Eyre (Older Readers), Margot Lindgren (Picture Book), and Sheryl Cootes and Alex Wharton (both Eve Pownell). We are most appreciative of the substantial commitment these people are making, and I would like to thank them for offering their experience and wise counsel.


March on!


iRead - 2021 February Edition

Dear Members


As you unpack your holiday suitcases and brush the sand from your beach chairs, we hope that you are ready to face this new year rested and revived. There will be few tales to share of international travel, these seem to all be vexed experiences of flight cancellations and monstrous charges. Perhaps there will, however, be a new-found excitement of sharing discoveries of the richness and diversity of our own land, unexpected treasures previously overlooked in preference to an exotic international experience. As our focus turns towards Australia, I trust that this appreciation will find firm grounding in the books written for our children and celebrated by CBCA. For us who champion the best home-grown product for our children this may be the best of times.


After last year’s uncertainty we have made the choice to present our events online, at least for the first half of 2021.  The advantage is that you can choose to view at a time that suits you. We also like the idea of meeting up with a few friends, watching the presentation together and celebrating.


CBCA NSW Branch committee has decided this year to pair an experience for children with each of our events. We start with the Night of the Notables which will align with the launch of the 2021Collide Book Trailer Competition for children.


Always keenly anticipated, the AAA PD Conference returns to its usual date in March, aligned with the release of the Shortlist. The organising committee, led by Gail Erskine and Felicity Jagavkar, has managed to secure so many quality speakers that the conference has been extended to 2 days. You will be amazed by the quality of our speakers. We are delighted to have Libby Hathorn join the organising committee as advisor, as well as being a keynote speaker for the conference.


It was the Branch Presidents intention that when the changes to the constitution and Board were made last year, communication would flow more freely. With Wendy Rapee as Chairperson, prompt and open emails are regularly arriving in our inboxes.  The latest is a Strategic Action Plan which is available for comment. The Board is also in the process of appointing two Independent Directors to complete the CBCA Board. If you know an appropriate person who would have the interests of CBCA at heart and the requisite skills, please send them the advertisement below. Applications close 1 March 2021.

Positions Vacant for Independent Directors on the CBCA Board 
Volunteer Independent Director Finance - Full details here
Volunteer Independent Director Legal including Volunteer Company Secretary - Full details here



Many of you would know June Smith retired from the Awards Foundation late last year. She had been involved in CBCA since the 1970’s, was integral in establishing the Awards Foundation in 1995, and has served CBCA on the Awards Foundation Committee of Responsible Persons since then. We all thank June for her marvellous contribution and wish her all the best.


We were disappointed to hear that Kate Flamsteed, who ran operations at the National CBCA office, has resigned. I would like to thank Kate for all her contributions and wish her well in the future. Shannon and Anne will be continuing in their roles in the office.


If you are teaching you would be aware of the huge restructure of NESA. During this time of Transition Arrangements it is not possible to obtain accreditation for our courses. Remember that all our high-quality presentations can be recorded as elective PD.


Please check your membership fee has been paid. Membership fees are used to provide services to you as a member, directly and via the website, and to ensure we are able to provide outstanding events to support Australian children’s literature.



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© 2021 CBCA NSW Branch Inc


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