Daisy Utemorrah Award – WA Premier’s Book Awards

The Daisy Utemorrah Award is for an unpublished manuscript of junior or YA fiction by an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander writer. Graphic novels for junior or YA readers are also eligible.

Launched as part of the WA Premier’s Book Awards, this national award recognises excellence in Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait
Islander writing and seeks to grow Australian Indigenous writing for younger readers. Generously supported by the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund, the winner will receive $15,000 and a publishing contract with Magabala Books.


The inaugural shortlist for the Daisy Utemorrah Award is:

  • Paul Callaghan, Coincidence
  • Kirli Saunders, Mother Speaks
  • Carl Merrison and Hakea Hustler, Tracks of the Missing

The winner will be announced at the Premier’s Book Awards on July 26, 2019 as part of the Disrupted Festival of Ideas at the State Library of Western Australia.

Daisy Utemorrah Award shortlist

Daisy Utemorrah

The award is named in honour of author and poet Daisy Utemorrah, who was an elder of the Wunambal people from the Mitchell Plateau area in the far north Kimberley and one of the founders of Magabala Books. Utemorrah wrote the poetry collection Do Not Go Around the Edges (illus
by Pat Torres, Magabala) in 1991, which was shortlisted for the 1991 Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Book of the Year for Younger Readers, and won the 1992 Australian Multicultural Children’s Book Award.

Magabala are grateful to Daisy Utemorrah’s family who have given permission for us to honour her memory with this award.

Daisy Utemorrah at the Perth Writers Festival

Copyright Agency Cultural Fund            Government of WA                          SLWA