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CBCA Book of the Year Award Judges 2021

CBCA Book of the Year Award Judges 2021

This year you can join us at Kenmore Library and Online.

We are fortunate to have five CBCA judges from across Australia and ask them questions about the CBCA Book of the Year Awards, the process and the books. We hope that you will submit questions in advance, but questions can also be asked via the ZOOM chat room function.
Judges that are joining us are:

Older Reader - KARYS McEWEN

Karys is the Library Manager at both Prahran High School and Richmond High School. She is originally from Western Australia and has a Bachelor of Arts (Fine Art) from the University of Western Australia and a Master of Information Management (Librarianship) from Curtin University. She is the current President of the CBCA Victorian Branch. Karys also makes zines and writes for Books + Publishing magazine. She is passionate about the positive impact libraries and literature can have on the wellbeing of young people.




Margaret has worked for many years as an English teacher, Teacher Librarian (in both primary and secondary schools) and now, while semi-retired, has half a dozen schools locally where she teaches on a relief basis. She still enjoys talking to children about their books and reading. She participates in the Last Tuesday Children’s Book Club, a discussion group consisting of retired TLs and aspiring writers who enjoy keeping up with books for children. As well as a Bachelor of Arts in English and History, she has a Master of Education (Teacher Librarianship).



Early Childhood – MARISSA CALUZZI

Throughout her 30-year teaching career, Marissa has demonstrated a passion for literature and loves sharing the joy of reading with her students. She has completed a Master of Business (Information Technology), RMIT University; a Graduate Diploma in Information Management, RMIT University; a Bachelor of Education, RMIT University; and a Diploma of Teaching (Early Childhood Education), Phillip Institute of Technology, with a major focus in Children’s Literature in all of these studies. Marissa is currently the Junior School Teacher Librarian at Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar School, working with students in the Junior School (Year Prep – 6) and Early Learning Centre (Kinder and Pre-Prep). A key focus of her role is fostering a love of books and reading for pleasure in the students, staff, and the wider community. She is also an enthusiastic and active member of the CBCA Victorian Branch executive committee.


Picture Book + New Illustrator - BROOK TAYLA

Brook has a Diploma of Teaching (Primary) and a Graduate Diploma in Children’s Literature. Although she has been passionate about children’s literature since childhood, she attributes the depth of her love of literature to having had lecturers at the top of their field – two of whom read picture books at the beginning of every lecture. Brook currently works part-time as a librarian. She is a member of many writers’ groups, prominent literary related associations, and reviewer for online children’s magazines, blogs and publishers. Brook has a multitude of experience and expertise in her chosen field. In 2019, she was an Eve Pownall CBCA judge which was a new and interesting area. This year she is delighted to be working in her area of expertise as the Picture Book/New Illustrator CBCA Judge.



Narissa is a former primary school principal and teacher. She now works as a literacy consultant in schools across Victoria, striving to build a love of literacy and literature in both students and teachers. Narissa holds a Masters of Education (Charles Sturt University) as well as a Bachelor of Education with a minor in Children’s Literature (Latrobe University). She is passionate about schools using Australian texts as mentors for teaching reading and writing and founded the Oz Lit Teacher community to support teachers to build their knowledge in doing this. Narissa is an avid reader and keen writer and is rarely found without a book in her hand. She was first introduced to the CBCA Book of the Year Awards by her primary school librarian, Ms Patterson, and has loved awaiting the announcement of the winners ever since. She is thrilled to be a part of the judging panel for the Eve Pownall Award this year.

We would love you to submit your questions before the event so we can give them to the judges to prepare some answers. Please email your questions to a week prior to the event.

We also ask you to consider making a donation to CBCA Qld to assist with running free author visits in schools during Book Week 2021.  We will be sending two authors into three schools across three days. These schools have not had an author visit for many years. Donations can be made as you register for the event.

You can create a free Zoom account here:

BE AWARE: We send the Zoom event link and password on the morning of the event. If you have not received this information prior to the event please check your SPAM folder. This event will be recorded for others to view at a later date. It will help if you enter the room with mic and video off and watch in speaker view.


Kenmore Library
9 Brookfield Road, Kenmore Qld 4069

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