Christobel Mattingley was awarded Honorary Membership of the CBCA(SA) Branch at the 2019 AGM as a luminary of South Australian children's literature because of her quality body of work over an extended period of time, current relevance, and instant recognition by the wider South Australian children's literature community.
Christobel has been a prominent, prolific and awarded South Australian author of children’s literature in a range of genres, addressing a range of issues and catering for a range of age groups for more than 40 years.
Whilst her books often reflect her passions for conservation and the environment, rural life, issues and culture of Aboriginal Peoples, and the impact of war and forced migration on children, (often based on her personal connections and experiences with real people), they also address and resonate with daily social issues for children and young adolescents including overcoming fears (The windmill at Magpie Creek), friendships, (First friend) and starting school (Black dog).
Her Bibliography includes more than 50 titles, many of which have been translated in more than 6 languages, and also into Braille and as audio-books to support children with visual disabilities. She has also written and published short stories, poetry, articles and film scripts.
She has been recognized in the Children’s Book Council of Australia Awards. In 1982 winning the CBCA Junior Book of the Year Award for Rummage. Other award-winning books include Windmill at Magpie Creek; The Miracle Tree; The Angel with a Mouth Organ; No Gun for Asmir; and The Race (an Honour Book in the 1996 CBCA Picture Book of the Year awards) and Cockawun and Cockatoo. The Magic Saddle is widely regarded as a children's classic. Her stories still have relevance today and are found in school and public libraries across Australia.
She has been awarded the Pheme Tanner Award for services to children’s literature (1999), Advance Australia Award for Service to Literature (1990), an Honorary Doctorate from the University of South Australia for service to literature (1995), and Member of the Order of Australia for service to literature and social justice (1996).
Christobel is already recognized as a Luminary of the Children’s Book Council of Australia (South Australian Branch) on the SA Greats page of its website, and her recognition with Honorary Membership would complement and formalize this honour.