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Premier's Award for the Best Overall Published Work
Subcategory of Festival Awards for Literature (SA)
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Notes

  • In April 2012, the South Australian Government announced that the prizemoney for the Premier's Award would be increased from $10,000 to $25,000. The new figure takes effect from the 2014 awards.

Latest Winners / Recipients

Year: 2012

winner y separately published work icon That Deadman Dance Kim Scott , Sydney : Picador , 2010 Z1728528 2010 single work novel historical fiction (taught in 43 units)

Big-hearted, moving and richly rewarding, That Deadman Dance is set in the first decades of the 19th century in the area around what is now Albany, Western Australia. In playful, musical prose, the book explores the early contact between the Aboriginal Noongar people and the first European settlers.

'The novel's hero is a young Noongar man named Bobby Wabalanginy. Clever, resourceful and eager to please, Bobby befriends the new arrivals, joining them hunting whales, tilling the land, exploring the hinterland and establishing the fledgling colony. He is even welcomed into a prosperous local white family where he falls for the daughter, Christine, a beautiful young woman who sees no harm in a liaison with a native.

'But slowly - by design and by accident - things begin to change. Not everyone is happy with how the colony is developing. Stock mysteriously start to disappear; crops are destroyed; there are "accidents" and injuries on both sides. As the Europeans impose ever stricter rules and regulations in order to keep the peace, Bobby's Elders decide they must respond in kind. A friend to everyone, Bobby is forced to take sides: he must choose between the old world and the new, his ancestors and his new friends. Inexorably, he is drawn into a series of events that will forever change not just the colony but the future of Australia...' (From the publisher's website.)

Year: 2010

winner y separately published work icon Tales from Outer Suburbia Shaun Tan , Shaun Tan (illustrator), Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2008 Z1450931 2008 selected work single work short story art work young adult (taught in 13 units)

'do you remember the water buffalo at the end of our street?

or the deep-sea diver we found near the underpass?

do you know why dogs bark in the middle of the night?

Shaun Tan, creator of The Arrival, The Lost Thing and The Red Tree, reveals the quiet mysteries of everyday life: homemade pets, dangerous weddings, stranded sea mammals, tiny exchange students and secret rooms filled with darkness and delight.'

Source: Back cover.

Year: 2008

winner y separately published work icon Urban Myths : 210 Poems : New and Selected John Tranter , St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 2006 Z1268860 2006 selected work poetry (taught in 4 units)

'Urban Myths: 210 Poems brings the best work to date from a poet considered one of the most original of his generation in Australia, together with a generous selection of new work. Smart, wry and very stylish, John Tranter’s poems investigate the vagaries of perception and the ability of language to converge life, imagination and art so that we arrive, unexpectedly, at the deepest human mysteries.' (Publication summary)

Year: 2006

winner y separately published work icon Sixty Lights Gail Jones , London : Harvill Press , 2004 Z1136231 2004 single work novel historical fiction (taught in 15 units)

'Sixty Lights is the captivating chronicle of Lucy Strange, an independent girl growing up in the Victorian world. From her childhood in Australia through to her adolescence in England and Bombay and finally to London, Lucy is fascinated by light and by the new photographic technology. Her perception of the world is passionate and moving, revealed in a series of frozen images captured in the camera of her mind's eye showing her feelings about love, life and loss. In this confident, finely woven and intricate novel Jones has created an unforgettable character in Lucy; visionary, gifted and exuberant, she touches the lives of all who know her.' (Publication summary)

Year: 2004

winner y separately published work icon Wild Surmise Dorothy Porter , Sydney : Picador , 2002 Z982831 2002 single work novel (taught in 6 units)

'Alex Leefson is astronomy's glamour girl, in love with the satellite Europa and the equally unreachable Phoebe. Meanwhile, her husband Daniel mourns the demise of his marriage and his life. Full of Dorothy Porter's customary bite and sensuality, Wild Surmise is an engrossing duet between two passionately estranged voices. An intensely moving verse novel of passions and vulnerabilities, love and death.' (Publication summary)

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