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Congratulations to the Kibble and Dobbie award winners

Kibble Dobbie shortlist 2016


The Kibble and Dobbie Awards recognise Australian female writers who have published fiction or non-fiction classified as ‘life writing’. This includes novels, autobiographies, biographies, literature 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 the winners:


Kibble Award:

Fiona Wright; ‘Small Acts of Disappearance’


Dobbie Award:

Lucy Treloar; ‘Salt Creek’


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.


The shortlisted authors were:


Kibble Literary Award for an established author ($30,000 prize)


Elizabeth Harrower; 'A Few Days in the Country: And Other Stories'

Drusilla Modjeska; ‘Second Half First’

Fiona Wright; ‘Small Acts of Disappearance’


Dobbie Literary Award for a first time published author ($5,000 prize)


Shirley Barrett; 'Rush Oh!'

Magda Szubanski; 'Reckoning: A Memoir’

Lucy Treloar; ‘Salt Creek’


About Nita May Dobbie

Nita Dobbie established the Kibble Literary Awards for Women Writers in recognition of her aunt, Nita Kibble, who raised her from birth after her mother died.

In the late 1800s, Miss Kibble had successfully answered an advertisement for a junior assistant at the Public Library of New South Wales, when her signature was taken for a man’s. She later became the first woman to be appointed a librarian with the State Library of New South Wales and held the position of Principal Research Officer from 1919 until her retirement. Throughout her career she worked hard to raise the status of the library profession and was a founding member of the Australian Institute of Librarians.

Miss Dobbie followed her aunt into the library profession and recognised the need to foster women’s writing in the community and so established the Awards, named after her inspirational aunt, through her will.

Since the inception of the Kibble Literary Awards in 1994, many of Australia's leading women writers have received prizes, each benefiting from Nita Dobbie's foresight and vision. The trust behind the Awards was established with just under $400,000 and is managed by Perpetual. Today, it's worth more than $740,000 and has awarded over $570,000 to writers.