Judges

WA Primary, Middle & Upper Divisions Judge

Chloe Mauger has worked in school libraries since the late 1970s. Since her retirement in 1999 most of her professional energies have been poured into working on the Committee of The Children's Book Council of Australia, West Australian Branch, which she joined in 1998. She has held the roles of president, secretary and committee member and judged a number of prestigious awards including the CBCA Book of the Year Awards and the West Australian Premier's Book Awards. She is also a long-standing and current Reviewer for the review journal Magpies: Reading about books for children, and also for Reading Time, the official review journal for the Children's Book Council of Australia. 

Primary Division Judge

Margot Lindgren has been a Teacher-Librarian in NSW Primary schools for 33 years working in a variety of settings from small rural schools to her present role at a large metropolitan campus. She has a passion for children’s literature which she shares through her blog – Momo Time to Read which she started writing in 2008. It now has over 1200 book reviews. She adds several new titles each week ranging from Picture Books through to senior novels. Margot is currently a member of the National Executive of IBBY (International Board on Books for the Young) and she is also a member of the Children’s Book Council (NSW Branch). In addition to her teaching qualifications Margot has an MEd in Teacher-Librarianship and Post Graduate qualifications in Children’s Literature.

Middle Division Judges

Tye Cattanach is former Manager of Education, Children’s and Young Adult Marketing and Publicity for Penguin Random House. She has worked with some of the world’s most recognisable children's brands, developing and implementing community engagement and social media strategies, live activations and events, and marketing and publicity campaigns. Responsible for the establishment of Penguin Teachers’ Academy, an international award-winning resource for teachers, parents and librarians, Tye has travelled widely presenting on the importance of library culture, reading engagement strategies and the integration of technology into classrooms and libraries. Tye spent the last 2 years as a Content Producer for the AFL, working across their Kids Engagement Strategy, AFLW and the Auskick redevelopment before departing to take up the role of Retail Marketing Manager for Hardie Grant Egmont. Tye’s biggest passion has always been the kid’s engagement, education and entertainment space.

Mick Elliott is a TV producer, scriptwriter and illustrator. For nearly two decades he headed up the Creative Department at Nickelodeon Australia, producing shows such as  SLIME CUP, CAMP ORANGE and SLIMEFEST and hundreds of commercials. He is the author of the THE TURNERS trilogy is currently working on a brand new, illustrated series titled SQUIDGE DIBLEY DESTROYS THE SCHOOL which will be released by Hachette in 2019.

Holly Toohey is a Children’s Publisher at Penguin Random House Australia. She creates and acquires new books and series with a particular focus on brand partnerships. She has the pleasure of working with wonderfully talented fiction authors such as Jacqueline Harvey, R.A. Spratt and George Ivanoff, and is proud to have worked on bestselling non-fiction titles such as Shout Out to the Girls, High Five to the Boys and How to Feel Awesome Every Day. 

Upper Division Judges

Sydney-based author John Larkin was born in England but grew up in the western suburbs of Sydney. He has, at various stages of his writing career, supported his habit by working as a supermarket trolley boy, shelf-stacker, factory hand, forklift driver, professional soccer player and computer programmer. He now writes and teaches writing full-time. John has a BA in English Literature and a MA in Creative Writing from Macquarie University. John’s The Shadow Girl won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards Prize for Writing for Young Adults 2012, and The Pause won the Queensland Literary Awards Griffith University Young Adult Book Award 2015. 

Candice Lemon-Scott is an award-winning Australian author, editor and workshop facilitator. She has published 10 books for children, including the Jake in Space series, with her next series to be published in 2019. She’s also published a novel for adults that was commended in the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards. She has a Bachelor of Communication / Diploma of Arts (Professional Writing & Editing) and a background as a Media Manager. When not writing, she can be found on a beach somewhere, a book in hand.

Marita Smith is an author, editor, and gourmet mushroom grower. After finishing a PhB (Hons) in Science at the Australian National University, she worked as a paleobiogeochemist in the Netherlands and then vagabonded her way across Europe working on small farms. She now lives in a tent on the NSW South Coast, where she writes young adult science fiction, cultures bioluminescent fungi, and hangs out with her donkey, Mindy.

Open Division Book & Illustrations Judge

Paul McDonald is the owner of the Children’s Bookshop in Beecroft. Paul has a Master of Education, working almost 20 years as a teacher of Upper Primary and Secondary. He has won numerous awards in teaching such as a Quality Teacher Award in 2002, The Premier’s English Scholarship in 2004 and awards for his co-ordination of Regional Shakespearean Festivals. His interests include the development of literacy with a particular interest in reading for gifted children, Boys’ Literacy and books for adolescents. In 2012 Paul was awarded the School Library Association of NSW's Maurice Saxby Award for his commitment to and contribution to children's literature. 

Primary, Middle and Upper Division Illustrations Judge 

Dr Mark Fenech - PhD in Visual Arts, and is an art teacher at St Joseph’s College.

National 

Primary, Middle & Upper Division Judge

William Kostakis is an Australian author and journalist. In high school, he won the Sydney Morning Herald Young Writer of the Year prize for a short story called 'Bing Me'. He went on to sign his first book deal in his final year of high school. His second novel, The First Third won the 2014 Inky Awards, and was shortlisted for the CBCA Book of the Year: Older Readers and Prime Minister's Literary Awards.[1] His latest novel The Sidekicks was released in 2016, and has since been shortlisted for the Queensland Literary Awards.