Perpetual announces Fiona Wright and Lucy Treloar as winners of 2016 Kibble Awards

Female writers have been celebrated for their impact on life writing at today’s Nita B Kibble Literary Awards for Women Writers (the Kibble Awards), with Perpetual announcing Fiona Wright and Lucy Treloar as the 2016 winners of the Kibble and Dobbie Awards.

Ms Wright was awarded the $30,000 Kibble Literary Award for established authors for her book Small Acts of Disappearance. Ms Treloar won the $5,000 Dobbie Literary Award for a first-time published author for Salt Creek.

The Kibble Awards recognise Australian female writers who have published fiction or non- fiction classified as ‘life writing’. This includes novels, autobiographies, biographies, and any writing with a strong personal element. The Awards were established by Nita Dobbie in honour of her pioneering aunt, Nita Kibble – the first female librarian of the State Library of New South Wales.

On behalf of the judging panel, Humanities Australia Editor, Emeritus Professor Elizabeth Webby AM congratulated Ms Wright, an acclaimed poet, on her winning collection of essays about anorexia.

“With the skilful use of language seen in her prize-winning poetry, Wright writes frankly and movingly about a difficult and very personal subject. Unlike many memoirs of illness and recovery, hers is not a story of triumph over adversity. The essay form allows her to resist closure, while also providing insights into her reading, her travels and her interactions with others,” she said.

Ms Webby also commended Ms Treloar on her novel, which blends fact with fiction in narrating the story of a family forced to move from Adelaide to South Australia’s Coorong region, from the perspective of the eldest daughter, Hester.

“In a remarkable act of the imagination, Lucy Treloar depicts the changes in Hester as initial strangeness and dislocation give way to a sense of beauty and belonging. She is also forced to question many of the beliefs of her time and class, as she witnesses the destruction of the homes and culture of the local people, the Ngarrindjeri.”

Professor Webby was joined on the judging panel by State Library of New South Wales Coordinator- Education and Scholarship, Dr Rachel Franks, and internationally renowned novelist, Dr Rosie Scott.

Perpetual’s National Manager of Philanthropy, Caitriona Fay, said the legacy of Nita Dobbie was continuing to support Australian women’s literature.

“As one of the most prestigious Australian literary awards, the Kibble Awards have recognised 57 of Australia’s leading writers over its 23 year history. Each has benefitted from Nita Dobbie’s foresight and vision.

“The Awards are a great example of the impact a considered and planned approach to philanthropic giving can have on a community.

“As trustee of the Kibble Awards, Perpetual is proud to support and promote Australia’s established and emerging female writers and we congratulate Fiona, Lucy, Shirley, Elizabeth, Magda and Drusilla for their outstanding literary works.”

For more information about the awards, please visit

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