With great pleasure Riff Raff was asked to attend the Nib Awards Breakfast at Bondi RSL on Wed Nov 14. The Nib Awards are the only awards given out for research and the writing process itself rather than just for the finished product. It’s an annual event, sponsored by Mark and Evette Moran along with Waverley Council.
The Nib Awards, have been going for 18 years now. This year five out of six writers placed on the shortlist were women which was indeed refreshing. Those on the shortlist each received $1,000. This prize was established by Alex Buzzo who believed that there should be more encouragement for all writers striving for recognition in Australia.
The People’s Choice Award went to Alice Gorman for Dr Space Junk vs The Universe, fittingly scientific and quirky.
The Military History Prize to John Devitt and Larry Writer for Cecil Healy: A Biography, on the swimmer who was the only gold medalist Olympian to have died in WWI.
And finally the Nib Literary Award to Nadia Wheatley for Her Mother’s Daughter: A Memoir with a prize of $20,000.
Nominations had come from all over Australia and the works were chosen not only on literary merit but on their value to the community. All in all a wonderful literary event organised by a council that recognises the value in all forms of culture and the need for it in this vast country of ours. As Mark Moran said, “ Waverley Council is not political but is invested in positive ways in the community that supports it.” According to Nadia Wheatley, “The life of a professional author is like the life of a professional gambler.” There is no stability in it but that does not take away the relevance of the work.
It’s so great that Waverley Council realises too the relevance of the written word and embraces unique Australian stories with such open arms.
By Renee Lou Dallow