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Wilderness Society announces Environment Award shortlists, new Karajia Award

The Wilderness Society has announced the shortlists for the 2022 Environment Award for Children’s Literature (EACL), as well as the new Karajia Award for First Nations children’s storytelling.

The shortlisted titles in each category are:

Karajia Award

  • The River (Sally Morgan, illus by Johnny Warrkatja Malibirr, Magabala)
  • Sea Country (Aunty Patsy Cameron, illus by Lisa Kennedy, Magabala)
  • Sharing (Aunty Fay Muir & Sue Lawson, illus by Leanne Mulgo Watson, Magabala)
  • Somebody’s Land: Welcome to Our Country (Adam Goodes and Ellie Laing, illus by David Hardy, A&U)
  • The Story Doctors (Boori Monty Pryor, illus by Rita Sinclair, A&U)
  • Walking in Gagudju Country: Exploring the Monsoon Forest (Diane Lucas & Ben Tyler, illus by Emma Long, A&U)
  • Warna-Manda Baby Earth Walk (Susan Betts, illus by Mandy Foot & Susan Betts, Little Book Press)
  • Wiradjuri Country (Larry Brandy, NLA Publishing)

Picture fiction

  • 9 things to remember (and one to forget) (Alison Binks, Berbay)
  • The Accidental Penguin Hotel (Andrew Kelly, illustrated by Dean Jones, Wild Dog)
  • One Potoroo: A story of survival (Penny Jaye, illus by Alicia Rogerson, CSIRO Publishing)
  • The River (Sally Morgan, illus by Johnny Warrkatja Malibirr, Magabala)
  • Saving Seal: The plastic predicament (Diane Jackson Hill, illus by Craig Smith, Museums Victoria)
  • Sharing (Aunty Fay Muir & Sue Lawson, illus by Leanne Mulgo Watson, Magabala)


  • The Australian Climate Change Book (Polly Marsden, illus by Chris Nixon, Lothian)
  • The Gentle Genius of Trees (Philip Bunting, Omnibus)
  • The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Peculiar Pairs in Nature (Sami Bayly, Lothian)
  • The Way of the Weedy Seadragon (Anne Morgan, illustrated by Lois Bury, CSIRO Publishing)


  • Finch Takes a Stand (Ingrid Laguna, Text)
  • Fish Kid and the Turtle Torpedo (Kylie Howarth Bailey, Walker)
  • The Good Times of Pelican Rise: Save the joeys (Samone Amba, Affirm).

‘Over the last several years, we noticed that more and more First Nation authored and/or illustrated books were being submitted to the Environment Award for Children’s Literature,’ said the Wilderness Society of the new Karajia Award for First Nations storytelling, named for a holder and teller of ancient stories in Mirning culture. Senior Elder of the Mirning people Uncle Bunna Lawrie, one of the three inaugural judges of the award, is a Karajia and, according to the Wilderness Society, ‘has shared this incredible name with us’.

‘Not all of these books explicitly “promote a love of nature”; First Nations people have been stewards of this continent’s natural world for tens of thousands of years, and continue to be so. However, many of these titles honour a connection to Country and tell stories exploring land, community, culture and language.’

Now in its 28th year, the EACL ‘promotes a love of nature in kids’ by showcasing the best children’s nature books. This year’s judges are Lawrie, Corey Tutt, Megan Daley, Corinna Eccles, Nat Amoore and Paul McDermott.

The winners will be announced during Nature Book Week from 5–11 September. For more information about the award, see the Wilderness Society website.


Category: Awards Junior Local news