On Friday 16th August 2019, I made my way to Federation Square in Melbourne to attend the 2019 CBCA Book of the Year Awards. Sitting amongst esteemed colleagues, I was absolutely thrilled and honoured to hear SORRY DAY won Book of the Year for the Eve Pownall Award. I was also honoured to receive a phone call from the former Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, congratulating Dub Leffler and I on this wonderful achievement.
My acceptance speech-
What an honour it is to win this award.
Firstly, I’d like to acknowledge and thank the Children’s Book Council of Australia and the judges, for putting Sorry Day in the spotlight. I am delighted for this book. I am delighted for the recognition of the Stolen Generations of Australia and the platform this award allows for truth telling in this country.
A massive thank you to Dub Leffler, for the incredible and humble man that you are. It was absolute joy to partner with you and I am blessed to call you my friend. Thank you for being willing to illustrate this book. I know it was an emotional, and at times difficult journey for you. Thank you for your stunning illustrations, that brought this book to life and made it what it is. Without you, there would be no book.
To our amazing Publisher Susan Hall and the team at the National Library of Australia. Thank you. Thank you for having the courage to publish this book. Thank you for producing such a beautiful book. And thank you for being the best publisher to work with.
And finally thank you to my wonderful husband and my family for their constant love and their support.
Sorry Day is, in essence, an educational resource for young Australians.
In that one powerful word, SORRY, there is hope - that what has been, would never be again. These conversations are not easy to have, they are not comfortable to have, but they are essential to have. Its truth telling. It’s the history of all of us, both Indigenous and Non-indigenous.
And as we move forward as a nation, I am convinced, it is only in acknowledging past wrongs, that forgiveness is facilitated, healing can begin and reconciliation can be achieved.
I was also honoured to meet award winning picture book creator Bob Graham, who brought to life this year’s CBCA Book Week theme Reading is My Secret Power with his wonderful artwork.
Later on Friday afternoon, Dub and I went to the ABC studios in Southbank for a radio interview to talk about Sorry Day.