Thank you …

to the Children’s Book Council of Australia for this honour – winning the Picture Book of the year – Early Childhood.

 Thank you so much for all the well wishes for the news that Jetty Jumping has been awarded the 2022 CBCA Picture Book of the Year for Early Childhood.

For all of my reading life I have admired and adored this award but I certainly never dared dream that I’d be the recipient of one myself.

And, in the Year of the CBCA theme ‘Dreaming with eyes open’ … here I am.

Hannah Sommervile is the other half of this dream come true. And what a  talented half she is. Hannah Sommerville gave me the gift of such gorgeous illustrations  that brought Milla and her friends to life on the jetty, and captured the essence of summer, and the fears and joys of letting go.

I am so excited Hannah to know we are back again together for the next book together as well!! (Sunday Skating will be out in 2023 with Hardie Grant.)

What’s it like to win the CBCA award?

You might like to watch all the CBCA excitement here.

It was a pinch-me moment. 

I also had a lovely at-home celebration with family and friends – and the squeals raised the roof!

The CBCA awards are an Australian legacy since 1946

For 76 years the CBCA has recognised and celebrates the literary and artistic talent in this country, and Australia has so much to offer the reading world.

A big thank you to all of the lovely authors and illustrators who are my people, and people I admire so very much.

I could never have dreamed that Jetty Jumping would rise to be up there some of Australia’s most treasured pictures books. I cannot tell you what this means to me as a writer. It’s an experience I will treasure.

Thank you and cheers

I especially want to thank all of the young readers and their families for telling me how much you love the book, and tall the ways you enjoy reading it, acting out the parts, incorporating it in your play and movement, and using it as a talking point for feelings and thoughts.

This is the greatest feedback and children’s author can ever receive.

Thanks also to the booksellers, sales representatives, specialist shops and stores, books reviews, teachers and teachers aids, school and community librarians and preschools and nature play communities who have shared Jetty Jumping with so many.

My greatest gratitude and thanks is reserved for a few special people in the industry. I am indebted to Margrete Lamonde, Alyson O’Brien, Lauren Draper, Marisa Pintado and Chren Bryng for taking such wonderful care of me at Hardie Grant. What a wonderful start to authoring life I have had.

And to my author mate Patrick Guest – biggest thanks to you too.

To the writing crew who have my back and let me check in with them – a big old thanks and cheer. Especially the scribe tribe of Peninsula Writers Club and my wonderful fellow Committee members, the CBCA Vic and the KidLit conference crew.

I’d love to single out a few folks who I trust with early reads of my works and their helpful feedback – Rebecca Fraser, Sarah Halfpenny, and Selena Brennan. Every writer needs a special Word Crew – and you are that to me.

Big shout out to Marnie Umbers of Mornington Peninsula Libraries and Jane McAuliffe of Antipodes Bookstore who are the biggest local book cheerleaders an author can have.

To my extended friends – the school gate gang, the neighbourhood walkers, the holiday camping and sailing crew, the beach wandering hello folks – thanks for all the chats as I mulled over words.

Hurrah to my family

The final cheer goes to my family – my husband Kris and 2 terrific teenagers kids for tolerating the ‘Mum is writing’ sign on my desk door, and all the other absent minded moments when my head is dreaming of a storyline. Thank you for that.

And to my mum and dad who signed me up for my first library card, put the first book in my hand and made sure our shelves were full with good reads from local bookstores – you are be best support a growing reader could ever have. Thanks to you, and to my brothers too for giving me the story telling moments!

I know that family is where reading and storytelling starts. It’s the beginning of opening up other worlds and dreaming with eyes open, and I am so grateful to have grown up in a family where book and reading was respected and cherishes, and stories stacked themselves up in piles in my home.

My talented peers

This is such an honour to be selected form such an amazing line up of Early Childhood Picture Book of the Year – I have loved reading every book on the short list, and getting to know my fellow authors and illustrators. To my fellow authors shortlisted this year – Kaye Baillie. Ashleigh Barton, Nick Bland, Vikki Conley, and Leila Rudge, along with your illustrators, Max Hamilton, Martina Heiduczek and Nikky Johnston you are such talented people, it’s been an honour to share this moment with you all.

Thank you CBCA for all of the hard work you do to raise awareness and recognition of literature and reading for Australia.


The act of writing is all about being brave and taking big steps – which is sometimes what jetty jumping is too. And there’s so many rewards when you step towards big moments. Like swimming under jetties and winning CBCA book of the year – early childhood.





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