Newcastle Sub-branch

President: Julie Swane |

Vice President: Lillian Webb | Email:

Past events

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April 2021 Report - Local AGM Hosted at Newcastle‘s New Digital Library


The CBCA NSW Inc. Branch Newcastle Sub-branch AGM was held on Wednesday, 10th March in the new Digital Library, 12 Stewart Avenue, Newcastle West.


Before we started our formalities, Clare Presser, the Digital Library Activation Specialist, hosted a very intimate and comprehensive tour which included the podcasting/media room, large interactive digital wall, digital tables, computers, hublets (tablets), DVDs, popular books, reading spaces, and the Magic Box with 3D capability (there are only two in Australia). We also met the new robotic assistant, Pepper. We were amazed at how this library is leading the way in the concept of what a digital library looks like and how it works in serving the community. Thanks Clare!


Pepper, an interactive robot, can assist visitors, sing, dance, tell jokes, take selfies, and read stories. A highlight of the tour was hearing Pepper read the first eight pages of No Baths Week written by local CBCA member, Katrina McKelvey, and Maddie’s First Day, illustrated by local CBCA member, Liz Anelli. Pepper can read loads of children’s books, all written or illustrated by Newcastle residents.


After this fun tour, we held our AGM. Julie Swane cleverly displayed our documents digitally on the interactive wall.

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Congratulations to our new committee for 2021.


President: Julie Swane

Vice President: Lillian Webb

Treasurer: Ruth Higginbottom

Secretary: Jenni Goodman

General Committee: Kirrili Lonergan, Katrina McKelvey, Nicola Bolton, Liz Anelli, Amanda Shirley


Thank you to our long-term outgoing executive committee members, Kirrili Lonergan, Amanda Shirley, and Katrina McKelvey. All three ladies have held an executive position continuously since our sub-branch began in 2013. We are delighted that they are happy to remain as general committee members and assist the new committee.


Welcome to our new committee members, Jenni Goodman and Nicola Bolton, who are excited about being more hands-on in our sub-branch. Jenni is our new secretary, and Nicola will be writing our iRead articles.


Our sub-branch looks forward to more face-to-face events this year and we encourage anyone from our local area to join us as we celebrate all things Australian children’s literature.


We‘d like to thank Clare from the Digital Library, Julie Swane our sub-branch President, and Newcastle Libraries for organising the space, tour, and refreshments which helped us enjoy a very lovely evening together.


Click here more information and a quick tour of this innovative space.


Katrina McKelvey – outgoing secretary, committee member

Hello to 2021, and hello to all the CBCA NSW Branch members in the Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Hunter areas.


The CBCA NSW Branch Inc. Newcastle Sub-branch committee has been working hard behind the scenes to bring our local members amazing and inspiring events in 2021. 


We don’t want to give too much away as a change in Covid-19 restrictions could make our plans disappear overnight, so we’re taking one event at a time.


However, we’d love to share all our event dates with you so you can organise your diaries.


Several weeks before each event we will advertise the details for that upcoming event via our email list or our Facebook page. If you are keen to be on our email list, please send a request to our secretary, Kirrili Lonergan: If you wish to be a member of our Facebook page, please search for ‘CBCA (NSW) Newcastle Sub-branch'. Please note: Only local bookish content is allowed to be advertised on this page.


Event 1: 10th March (AGM) - Please see flyer on this page for details.

Event 2: 28th April

Event 3: 9th June

Event 4: 28th July

Event 5: 8th September

Event 6: 27th October

Event 7: 1st December - Christmas Party 


(All dates are subject to change.)


We’d love to see regular and new people throughout the year

who love children’s literature as much as we do. We’re a friendly

bunch who love a chat over a cuppa. Please join us!


Katrina McKelvey - iRead contributor/secretary


Photo: CBCA NSW Branch Inc. Newcastle Sub-branch Christmas Party 2020 @Wests Leagues Club

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Sub-branch update July 2020:

On 22nd July, the Newcastle Sub-branch members were able to meet in person for the first time since February thanks to the help of Rachel Mallaby, our host from Lake Macquarie Libraries.


We met at Belmont Library and it was so lovely to talk to fellow authors, illustrators, librarians, booksellers whom we hadn’t had contact with for so long from a safe distance while still in the same room. We met some new friends too.


We caught up with the evolving events of the NSW Branch and local matters too.


Then we finished with an Art Therapy session guided by illustrator and art therapist, Kirrili Lonergan. (


Thank you to our committee for organising the meeting, to Kirrili for guiding us through an art therapy session, and to Rachel for hosting us.


Our next meeting is on Wednesday, 16th September from 6:30pm at Shortland Public School. We’ll be hearing from local professionals about each of the Book Week 2020 shortlisted titles in each category. We may even try and pick the winners. 


If you’d like to join us, please email so she can add you to our email list to receive reminders. Our ask to join our Facebook Page. Search for ‘CBCA (NSW) Newcastle Sub-branch’.


Katrina McKelvey - Secretary

Kirrili Lonergon
Kirrili Lonergon

Kirrili Lonergon Art Therapy class with the Newcastle Sub-branch

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Belmont Library
Belmont Library

Newcastle Sub-branch meets at Belmont Library

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2019 Newcastle Sub-branch Christmas Party
2019 Newcastle Sub-branch Christmas Party

2019 Newcastle Sub-branch Christmas Party

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Kirrili Lonergon
Kirrili Lonergon

Kirrili Lonergon Art Therapy class with the Newcastle Sub-branch

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Kirrili Lonergan at a school visit during 2020