Special Award

Winners announced

In exceptional circumstances, a Special Award ($10,000) is offered to an Australian literary work that is not readily covered by the existing Awards categories.

About the award

In exceptional circumstances, the judges may propose that a Special Award ($10,000) be created, either for:

  • an Australian literary work that is not readily covered by the existing Awards categories;
  • in recognition of an Australian writer’s achievements generally; or
  • in recognition of the contribution to the literary life of Australia.

The Special Award is not open for public nomination.


Recipients of the Special Award

Year Recipient
1982 Christina Stead
1984 Marjorie Barnard
1985 Grace Perry
1986 William H. Wilde, Joy Hooton, Barry Andrews for The Oxford Companion to Australian Literature, Oxford University Press
1987 Glenda Adams for Dancing on Coral, Angus & Robertson
1988 Patricia Wrightson
1989 A.D. Hope
1990 Bruce Beaver
1991 Bill Neskovski, Judith Wright
1992 Ronald McCuaig
1993 Mudrooroo Nyoongah
1994 Dal Stivens
1995 David Horton for The Encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia, Aboriginal Studies Press
1996 Thomas Shapcott
1997 Colin Thiele
1999 Leslie Rees
2000 Dorothy Hewett
2001 Ron Pretty
2002 Thea Astley
2003 Nick Enright
2004 Ruth Park
2005 Ruby Langford Ginibi
2006 Rosemary Dobson
2007 Gerald Murnane
2008 Tom Keneally
2009 Katharine Brisbane AM
2010 The Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature
2011 Libby Gleeson
2012 Clive James
2013 David Ireland AM
2014 Rodney Hall OAM
2015 David Williamson AO
2016 Dr Rosie Scott AM
2019 No Friend But the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison by Behrouz Boochani and translated by Omid Tofighian
2021 Melina Marchetta
2023 Bankstown Poetry Slam


Last updated:  04 March 2024

Award Information


For more information, please contact the Awards team.


Phone: (02) 9273 1767, or alternatively (02) 9273 1770.