Winners announced

Winner and Shortlist

Book cover of The Eulogy: A Debut Australian Novel of Family, Loss and Love
Hardie Grant Books
Book cover of 11 Words for Love
Hachette Australia
Book cover of Scary Monsters
Allen & Unwin
Book cover image of The Whitewash
Book cover image of The Bonesetter's Fee and other stories
Spineless Wonders
Book cover image of When Granny Came to Stay
Pan Macmillan Australia

About the award

The Multicultural NSW Award ($30,000) is offered for

  • a book of fiction or non-fiction, memoir or history
  • a play, musical drama or comedy, theatrical monologue or other theatrical performance,
  • a book of collected poems or a single poem of substantial length published in book form,
  • the screenplay of a feature or documentary film or episode of a television program (drama, comedy or documentary), or
  • the script of a radio play or documentary

which is deemed by the judges to have made a significant contribution to Australian literature, poetry, theatre, film, radio or television and which also considers:

  • any aspect of the Australian migration experience; and/or
  • aspects of cultural diversity and multiculturalism in Australian society.

This award is sponsored wholly by Multicultural NSW.

The Judging Panel

Photo of Melanie Cheng

Melanie Cheng


Melanie Cheng is a writer and general practitioner based in Melbourne. Her short story collection, Australia Day, won the 2018 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Fiction and her novel, Room for a Stranger, was shortlisted for the 2020 NSW Premier's Literary Awards and longlisted for the 2020 Miles Franklin Award. Her essays have been shortlisted for The Horne Prize and her non-fiction has appeared in The Guardian, The Age, The Weekend Australian and The Saturday Paper, among others.  

Photo of Sami Shah

Sami Shah

Sami Shah is a multi-award-winning comedian, writer, journalist, and broadcaster. 

Sami has been a frequent guest on The Project, ABC’s The Drum, been a panelist on Q&A, and appeared on QI with Stephen Fry. He is spoken extensively on race, politics, free speech, political analysis, and cultural commentary. 
From 2018 to 2020, Sami co-hosted the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Commission) Radio Melbourne Breakfast program with Jacinta Parsons. He has also presented RN Saturday Extra and produced and hosted multiple documentary series on ABC RN's Earshot on race, free speech, and religion. 
Sami’s created and co-hosted multiple podcasts, including Laughing Dead for ABC, and Beginners Guide to Pakistan for BBC Radio 4. He is currently hosting a weekly satirical podcast, News Weakly, and is a regular contributor to The Chaser Report

Sami’s autobiography, I, Migrant, was nominated for the NSW Premier's Literary Award, the WA Premier's Literary Award, and the Russell Prize for Humour Writing. He has also written Boy of Fire and Earth, a critically acclaimed urban fantasy novel, and the Islamic Republic of Australia, a non-fiction exploration of religious belief. Sami has also contributed multiple essays and short stories to various anthologies and collections and most recently wrote the satirical Gadfly column for The Saturday Paper. 
Sami Shah is the Ambassador-at-Large for PEN Melbourne. 

photo of jennifer wong

Jennifer Wong

Jennifer Wong is a Chinese-Australian writer, comedian, and curator of In Other Words, the writers and big ideas program at OzAsia Festival in Adelaide. 
As a writer, her work on mental health, food, and culture has been published by ABC Everyday, ABC News, Broadsheet, Monocle, and SBS News. She writes a column for SBS Food called The Mostest, and her pieces of humour writing appear regularly in The Guardian.
As a food enthusiast with a love of wordplay, she’s the presenter of Chopsticks or Fork?, a six-part ABC series on Chinese restaurants in regional Australia.

Past Winners

Still alive
Twelve Panels Press
University of Queensland Press
book cover
Hachette Australia
The Lebs Book Cover
Hachette Australia
Cover image of The Permanent Resident
UWA Publishing
Book cover for The Fighter A True Story by Arnold Zable
Hachette Australia