Lady Cutler Award
The Lady Cutler Award is a bi-ennial award, administered by the CBCA NSW Branch, for Distinguished Service to Children’s Literature. It commemorates the contribution to the Children’s Book Council NSW Branch by Lady Helen Cutler, its first patron, accepting the appointment in 1966, when her husband Sir Roden Cutler became Governor of New South Wales. Lady Cutler continued as Patron of the CBCA NSW Branch until her death in 1990. 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 have made a significant contribution in this area, their work was often unrecognised, so, in 1981 the CBCA NSW Branch, headed by then President, Eddie Coffey inaugurated the Lady Cutler Award, with sponsorship from Hodder & Stoughton. From 2012 the award came full circle with Eddie Coffey giving the Cameo prize in the name of his company, Peribo
The Award consists of:
A framed certificate beautifully illustrated and donated by Donna Rawlins;
A cameo (brooch or pendant) donated by Peribo.
The recipient’s name engraved on the base of the perpetual trophy which is a Wedgewood vase,
The honour of retaining the vase until the succeeding award presentation.
Nominations should be submitted on the Official Nomination form.
Please read the Advice to Nominators & Criteria carefully.
Gail Erskine - the 2022 recipient of the LADY CUTLER AWARD.
Gail has been a life-long passionate supporter of children’s literature from her work as a primary school teacher, as a teacher educator and through her long-term involvement with CBCA NSW Branch. She has been an active and influential member of CBCA NSW Branch since 1990, establishing a sub-branch in the Southern Sydney suburbs, and then through the NSW Branch Committee, where she has held the position of President from 2013 -19 and is again NSW Branch President.
‘Gail continues to be a passionate and professional promoter of children’s literature, not only to children, but to librarians and parents. She is highly respected by CBCA members and especially by the many children’s authors and illustrators she has, and continues to, promote. Gail must also be commended for her enthusiastic mentorship and encouragement of new committee members, not just of the NSW Branch but extending to sub-branches, instilling in them her considerable dedication to children’s books and the CBCA and passing on her knowledge.
‘'Her fundamental belief in the transformative power of children’s writing has shaped her life’s work and inspired a love of reading among thousands of children.’
Margaret Hamilton AM