By ALIA President Vicki Edmunds
Last week, ALIA Board Member Kathryn Eyre and myself attended the Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) as representatives of ALIA. Kathryn is also the NSW President of the Children's Book Council. The ABIAs celebrate the achievements of authors and publishers in bringing Australian books to readers. Winners are determined through a process of selection, first by the ABIA Academy of more than 200 industry professionals, and then a shortlist and winners are chosen by the Judging Panels.
After walking the red carpet and having our photos taken we enjoyed some canapes and refreshments and had the opportunity to mix with the award nominees. This year the Awards were a formal sit down dinner with the presentations being done in between courses.
Some of the famous faces in the audience included Grace Tame and Julia Gillard (who rushed in late after finishing her Sydney Writers' Festival engagement!) Geraldine Brooks and many other authors and illustrators and publishers.
The highlight of the evening was seeing Nagi Marhashi win book of the year with her RecipeTin Eats: Dinner who exclaimed "What is happening!!?" in a moment of pure joy and excitement.
Overall the lovely, supportive, inclusive and collegiate atmosphere of the night was a testament to the Australian book industry.
On behalf of ALIA we congratulate all the nominees and winners and thank them for their contribution to the sector.
A full list of winners can be found here.