AustLit logo
Queensland Premier's Award for a Work of State Significance
Subcategory of Queensland Literary Awards
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

Latest Winners / Recipients

Year: 2021

winner y separately published work icon Biting The Clouds Biting the Clouds : A Badtjala Perspective on the Aboriginals Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act Fiona Foley , St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 2020 20288202 2020 multi chapter work criticism

Biting The Clouds

A Badtjala perspective on the Aboriginals Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act, 1897

'In this groundbreaking work of Indigenous scholarship, nationally renowned visual artist Fiona Foley addresses the inherent silences, errors and injustices from the perspective of her people, the Badtjala of K’gari (Fraser Island). She shines a critical light on the little-known colonial-era practice of paying Indigenous workers in opium and the ‘solution’ of then displacing them to K’gari.

Biting the Clouds – a euphemism for being stoned on opium – combines historical, personal and cultural imagery to reclaim the Badtjala story from the colonisation narrative. Full-colour images of Foley’s artwork add further impact to this important examination of Australian history.'

(Source : UQP)

Year: 2020

winner Joe Gorman for 'Heartland: How Rugby League Explains Queensland'.

Year: 2019

winner y separately published work icon Too Much Lip Melissa Lucashenko , St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 2018 14069794 2018 single work novel

'Too much lip, her old problem from way back. And the older she got, the harder it seemed to get to swallow her opinions. The avalanche of bullshit in the world would drown her if she let it; the least she could do was raise her voice in anger.

'Wise-cracking Kerry Salter has spent a lifetime avoiding two things – her hometown and prison. But now her Pop is dying and she’s an inch away from the lockup, so she heads south on a stolen Harley.

'Kerry plans to spend twenty-four hours, tops, over the border. She quickly discovers, though, that Bundjalung country has a funny way of grabbing on to people. Old family wounds open as the Salters fight to stop the development of their beloved river. And the unexpected arrival on the scene of a good-looking dugai fella intent on loving her up only adds more trouble – but then trouble is Kerry’s middle name.

'Gritty and darkly hilarious, Too Much Lip offers redemption and forgiveness where none seems possible.' (Publication summary)

Year: 2018

winner Jackie Ryan for 'We'll Show the World: Expo 88'.

Year: 2016

winner y separately published work icon Not Just Black and White Not Just Black and White : A Conversation Between a Mother and Daughter Lesley Williams , Tammy Williams , St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 2015 8859509 2015 single work biography

'Lesley Williams was forced to leave the Cherbourg Aboriginal Settlement and her family at a young age to work as a domestic servant. Apart from pocket money, Lesley never saw her wages – they were kept ‘safe’ for her and for countless others just like her. She was taught not to question her life, until desperation made her start to wonder, where is all that money she earned? And so began a nine-year journey for answers.'

'Inspired by her mother’s quest, a teenage Tammy Williams entered a national writing competition with an essay about injustice. The winning prize took Tammy and Lesley to Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch and ultimately to the United Nations in Geneva. Along the way, they found courage they never thought they had and friendship in the most unexpected places.' (Source: On-line)

Works About this Award

Award Goes to Mother, Daughter 2016 single work column
— Appears in: Koori Mail , 19 October no. 637 2016; (p. 26)
'Aboriginal mother and daughter writing team Lesley and Tammy Williams have been presented the Queensland Premier's Award for a Work of State Significance for their book Not Just Black and White. ...'
Condon’s Powerful Crime Trilogy Gets Nod in Awards 2016 single work column
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 14 September 2016; (p. 8)
'It is the final book in an epic trilogy that laid bare the soul of Queensland. All Fall Down by Matthew Condon, an associate editor and writer on Qweekend at The Courier-Mail, has been nominated for the The Courier-Mail People’s Choice Queensland Book of the Year Award. ...'
X