2020 will go down as the year when the COVID epidemic waylaid plans for functions, activities and meetings as we flexed with ever-changing restrictions aimed at ensuring the health and safety of our patrons, members and committee.
Our annual Night of the Notables in March was the first event to be cancelled. This was followed by the cancellation of our exciting plans for hosting the National CBCA Shortlist Announcements at The Sanctuary Adelaide Zoo in child-centred experience featuring workshops with our premier South Australian authors and illustrators and an animal handling experience in keeping with the CBCA Book Week theme “Curious creatures, Wild minds”.
The national hosting of the CBCA Book of the Year Awards to be held at Government House and hosted by the Governor and Mrs Le also had to be cancelled as travel restrictions, quarantine uncertainties and social distancing made face to face gatherings impossible to plan and execute.
South Australian children’s authors and illustrators were also impacted by COVID restrictions. More than 20 had new books were released, but opportunities for launching and promoting were negligible. The SA Branch planned a massive mini-launch for more than 15 new South Australian children’s books, but this also had to be cancelled to accommodate COVID restrictions.
We are looking forward to a better 2021!
CBCA SA members had an evening with Australian author Gina Newton. Gina writes entertaining and informative books for children about Australia’s unique biodiversity. She trained as a marine biologist, zoologist and science communicator. Gina is passionate about helping children become excited about, understand, and care for Australian wildlife and the environment.
Gina’s book Amazing Animals of Australia’s National Parks (2016) won three prestigious awards, including the CBCA Eve Pownall Information Book of the Year, in 2017.
She has also written two Blossom Possum picture books, and her most recent releases Combat Wombat to the Rescue and Hold On: Saving the Spotted Handfish.
Thebarton Senior College was selected as the South Australian winner of the ‘Homestead’ Street library donated by Street Library Australia and the Children’s Book Council of Australia.
Thebarton’s submission highlighted how the Street Library would support the Branch objective of putting books in the hands of children and young people from disadvantaged communities. Students come from diverse backgrounds representing more than 70 cultural groups.
Many have come to South Australia under refugee programs. Because a proportion of students are adults and parents, the reach of the Street library will extend into homes and families across the metropolitan area.
Thebarton has an active student voice group who will provide leadership in decorating the Street Library and managing the project after CBCA Book Week in conjunction with the school library.
The Committee took the decision to fund a further Street Library to Naracoorte South Primary School to assist in its push to improve literacy and foster a love of reading across the community.
We look forward to hearing about the progress and needs of both Libraries once they have been launched.
Opportunities will exist in the new year for members to contribute to maintaining a quality collection of used books for both schools.
The Book Week dinner was held on Friday, October 16th at Jarmer’s Restaurant. A great night was experienced by 75 people and we were delighted to have Vikki Wakefield, the 2020 CBCA Book of the Year winner as our special guest. Author Allayne Webster used her musical talents to entertain us all and we enjoyed celebrating the Curious Creatures, Wild Minds theme.
Thank you to Lauren Mullinder and Kate Jones for organising such a wonderful event.
On Wednesday, September 30th a filming session was held in the Ardtornish Primary School Library for SA children’s authors and illustrators. This was a quickly organised event to help compensate for the cancelled “Creative Connection” to have been held on November 13th. Not all the authors and illustrators could be present but 7 new publications were featured, “Indigo Owl” by Charlie Archbold, “A Boy and a Ball” by Phil Cummings, “Edie’s Experiments: How to be the Best”, by Charlotte Barkla, “Eloise and the Bucket of Stars” by Janeen Brian, “Meet Mia at the Jetty” by Janeen Brian and Danny Snell, “Esmeralda’s Nest” by Robert Moore and Mandy Foot and “Molly Moores has a House like yours” by Kaliah Tsakalidis and Ross Morgan. Lauren did a great job in filming and editing the movies and Janeen in organising the authors and illustrators. We now have the promo shots and most of the movies completed for a segment we have named “Book Bubbles”. Each author or illustrator donated a signed copy of their book to use as a Facebook promotion. CBCA SA Branch also has their own YouTube channel, where you see all the “Book Bubbles” book trailers.
Storytime at Carrick Hill
A fabulous venue under marquees on the Cypress Terraces! A fantastic program focussed on the CBCA Book Week theme! Wonderful presenters! A generous sponsor! (Pegi Williams Bookshop donated a $7 discount voucher for every child registered [matching the ticket price], as well as a $20 gift voucher for each session). An early sell-out!!!
And then thanks to La Nina – down came the rain!
Result – cancellation!
Because of COVID we had already taken the decision to provide take home craft activities in a CBCA (SA) goody bag, rather than risk mingling on the day. Every effort was made to get these bags to all registered families.
Next year we hope for better weather and a return to the more sheltered stable lawns area.
On Tuesday, September 29th, 2 concurrent PD sessions were held at Ardtornish Primary School Gym.
The first session, “What to do after level 30” was a 2-hour presentation on how to use children’s literature as the focus for the classroom reading program. The topics ranged from how to select a “Just Right” book to record keeping for both teachers and students, book trailers and classroom libraries. Scholastic, a CBCA SA Branch sponsor supported the event with free giveaways, a chance to win a poetry pack and the opportunity of a free copy of a Donalyn Miller book. Another sponsor, Greenlight Comics kindly gave each attendee a comic pack to take away.
There was an hour break for lunch, after which the second afternoon session, “A Mixed Bag” Arts PD 3-hour presentation began. There were 2 guest presenters, Kristin Martin, poet and Lauren Mullinder, illustrator who gave wonderful hands on presentations on poetry writing and dragon drawing.
A variety of presenters gave informative talks with examples on how to connect the arts and writing to children’s literature, in particular the 2020 Short list and Notables books.
At each presentation a raffle was held where the winning prize was original artwork by Greg Holfeld and Greg kindly donated signed copies of his books as part of the prize.
The PD committee worked very hard setting up the Ardtornish School Gym and it was transformed into an exciting and welcoming environment.
The “Mixed Bag” Arts PD PowerPoint is now ready for sale for $20 on our website.
Thank you to Brenda George, Lauren Mullinder, Kathryn Beilby and Kate Jones for the many hours of work they spent making the art, the PowerPoint and setting up the gym. Thank you to our SA Branch Director for helping with the heavy lifting.
CBCA (SA) was pleased to support the launch of our member Mike Dumbleton's book, Anisa's Alphabet on Friday 13 March at Burnside Town Hall in front of 300 invited guests.
It was a night filled with the warmth, humour and compassion, surrounding the topic of refugees and their strength, resilience and contribution to Australian society. It was supported by powerful and moving renditions of the National Anthem and I am Australian by a children's choir from Playford College.
The Governor of South Australia, His Excellency, the Honorable Hieu Van Le AC, launched the book and shared his personal story as a refugee.
The launch raised $500 for the Refugee Association of Australia.
Congratulations Mike, illustrator Hannah Sommerville, and South Australian publisher Midnight Sun for a beautiful book.
Katharine England OAM was awarded Life Membership of the CBCA (SA) Branch at the 2020 AGM on 24 February 2020 by Branch president Julie Wells in recognition of her exceptional service to the Branch over an extended time.
Her Citation read
"As President of the South Australian Branch of The Children’s Book Council of Australia, and on behalf of the SA Committee and Branch members, I take great pleasure in announcing that Katharine England is a recipient of a Life Membership for the organisation.
This award is an acknowledgement of the wonderful contribution Katharine England has made over many years.
Katharine first joined the CBCA in 1992, serving as committee member for most of the years since then; 4 years as Branch President 1997, 1998, 2011 and 2012.
She was Vice-President from 2000 to 2010 and again in 2014.
Katharine served as a Judge for the CBCA Awards on three separate occasions: 1993-94, 1997-98, and 2017-18. This has been a huge commitment particularly when we consider in the years past, judges were asked to read every book entered from cover to cover and produce a written report on each, plus fulfilling the expectation for giving a talk at various events in the home state about the Short List.
As we are all aware, Katharine has long been our Branch’s resident literary expert. Undoubtedly, she is the most well read of reviewers of children’s literature in Australia. Her columns in The Advertiser – for which she has been a reviewer of over 50 years – are masterly – thoughtfully written and so well researched. Many readers rely on her expertise in recommending titles and have always done so.
In addition, Katharine has guided emerging writers, attended conferences, judged for other literary awards and written reviews for numerous publications.
This vast field of experience means that she has offered the SA Branch a greater depth of understanding of children’s literature, along with valuable insights and wisdom, which she has always been happy to share.
Thank you Katharine for your amazing contribution to the CBCA SA Branch."
Nearly 50 people attended the combined Book Blitz and AGM held at Unley Town Hall on Monday 24 February 2020.
Our sponsors Emma Heyen from Harry Hartog, Dan McGuiness from Greenlight Comics, Pat Pledger from ReadPlus, and Anne Cameron from Scholastic 'blitzed' us with "Ten in Ten' - their top ten new and hot books in 10 minutes.
Members can access these lists from the Members only page of this website.
As well as formal presentation and acceptance of reports (also available on the SA Members only page), presentations were also made to Katharine England OAM as a new Life member for services to the SA Branch, and Julie Wells as outgoing Branch President.
Elections for the new committee were as follows - President, Jane Moore; Secretary, Nola Uzzell; Treasurer, Anna Angelakis; Committee members - Caitlin Hadrill, Lauren Mullinder, Brenda George, Karyn Stephens, Jo Marshall, Judy Miller, Kate Jones, Kate McBride, Linda Guthrie, Maria Komninos, Sharolyn Talbot, Wendy Jeffreys, Margaret Wilkinson, Josephine Gaskell.