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Wharton wins OzCo Lifetime Achievement in Literature Award

The Australia Council for the Arts has awarded Indigenous writer and poet Herb Wharton the Australia Council Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature.

The $50,000 award is presented annually to recognise ‘the achievements of eminent writers who have made outstanding and lifelong contributions to Australian literature’. In previous years the award was called the Australia Council for the Arts’ Writers’ Emeritus Award.

Wharton is the author of a number of poetry and short story collections including Unbranded, Cattle Camp and Where Ya’ Been, Mate? (all UQP). He is also the author of the semi-autobiography Yumba Days (UQP) and the self-published collection of poems Kings with Empty Pockets.

Chair of the Australia Council Literature Board Sophie Cunningham said in a statement that Wharton’s writing ‘presents a unique and otherwise untold perspective of Australian rural heritage’. ‘Through his stories, novels, poetry, notes and collection of oral histories, Herb continues to ensure that stories of the Aboriginal contribution to the development of the Australian pastoral industry are told,’ said Cunningham.

‘He is a wonderful advocate for Aboriginal literature and stories, as well as rural heritage more broadly,’ said Cunningham. ‘The importance of Herb’s work in documenting and telling these stories is reflected by the now twenty boxes of his writing, notes and recording of oral histories that are held in the University of Queensland’s Fryer Library.’

Previous winners of the Australia Council Lifetime Achievement in Literature Award include Robert Gray in 2011 and Peter Kocan in 2010.



Category: Local news