Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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Book industry figures among 2021 Australia Day honours recipients

Several book industry figures have been recognised in the annual Australia Day honours.

Writer, editor and academic Robyn Sheahan-Bright was made a Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia for ‘significant service to children’s literature, and to the promotion of reading’. Sheahan-Bright is the author of several books, and is currently the president of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY). She was previously the inaugural executive director of the Queensland Writers Centre from 1991–1997, and president of the Children’s Book Council of Australia, Queensland Branch from 1991–1993.

Robert McKay was made an AM for ‘significant service to the visual arts, and to publishing’. McKay was chairman of Melbourne University Publishing from 2002–2008, and held high-ranking library roles including trustee of the State Library of Victoria Foundation from 1993–1997 and director of Macquarie Library 1988–2001. McKay was also director of Kirin Publishing between 1995–2000; director and chairman of Hutchinson Publishing from 1984–1986; director of Mary Martin Bookshops 1974–1979; director of Macmillan Publishers UK from 1979–1982; and executive director of the Macmillan Co. Australia 1971–1979.

Ginninderra Press publisher and editor Stephen Matthews was awarded a medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division for ‘service to publishing’. Matthews founded the Adelaide-based independent publisher in 1996, which has since published over 400 titles and is currently celebrating its 25th anniversary.

Also awarded an OAM for service to publishing was David Rosenberg, founder and director of history publisher Rosenberg Publishing. Rosenberg was the founder and director of independent publisher Kangaroo Press until 1997, when it was sold to Simon & Schuster, and established Rosenberg Publishing in 2002. In 2009 he was the recipient of an Australian Publishers Association (APA) George Robertson Award for service to the publishing industry.

Illustrator Julie Sydenham received an OAM for ‘service to the creative arts’. Sydenham has illustrated children’s books for Harbour Publishing including books in the ‘Miss Mouse’ series by Di Morrissey, and is currently the owner of House of Jules, a working studio providing creative workshops, art classes for adults and children.

Food writer and cookbook author Carol Selva Rajah was awarded an OAM for ‘service to the hospitality industry, and to culinary tourism’. Rajah was the author of over 15 cookbooks including Dining with Dragons (Akasaa Publishing) and Malaysian Cooking (Berkeley Books), as well as a contributor to publications including Australian Gourmet Traveller, Women’s Weekly and Feast – SBS Magazine.

See the full Australia Day honours list here.


Category: Awards Local news