Wilderness Society Announces Environmental Award Shortlists and New Karajia Award


The Wilderness Society has announced the lists of finalists for the 2022 Environmental Prize for Children’s Literature (AECL), as well as the new Karajia Prize for First Nations children’s stories.

The shortlisted titles in each category are:

Karajia Award

  • River (Sally Morgan, illustration of Johnny Warrkatja Malibirr, Magabala)
  • sea ​​country (Aunty Patsy Cameron, illustration of Lisa Kennedy, Magabala)
  • Share (Aunty Fay Muir & Sue Lawson, illustrations by Leanne Mulgo Watson, Magabala)
  • Somebody’s Land: welcome to our land (Adam Goodes and Ellie Laing, illustrations by David Hardy, A&U)
  • The story of the doctors (Boori Monty Pryor, illus de Rita Sinclair, A&U)
  • Walk in Gagudju Country: Exploration of the Monsoon Forest (Diane Lucas & Ben Tyler, illustrated by Emma Long, A&U)
  • Warna Manda Baby Earth Walk (Susan Betts, illustrated by Mandy Foot & Susan Betts, Little Book Press)
  • Country Wiradjuri (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 Survival Story (Penny Jaye, illustrated by Alicia Rogerson, CSIRO Publishing)
  • River (Sally Morgan, illustration of Johnny Warrkatja Malibirr, Magabala)
  • Saving Seal: the plight of plastic (Diane Jackson Hill, illustration by Craig Smith, Museums Victoria)
  • Share (Aunty Fay Muir & Sue Lawson, illustrations by Leanne Mulgo Watson, Magabala)


  • The Australian book on climate change (Polly Marsden, artwork by Chris Nixon, Lothian)
  • The sweet genius of the trees (Philip Bunting, Omnibus)
  • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Peculiar Pairs in Nature (Sami Bayly, Lothian)
  • The Way of the Invading Sea Dragon (Anne Morgan, illustrated by Lois Bury, CSIRO Publishing)


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

“Over the past few years, we have noticed more and more First Nations authored and/or illustrated books being submitted for the Environmental Prize for Children’s Literature,” the Wilderness Society said of the new Karajia Prize for First Nations storytelling, named after a bearer and storyteller of ancient stories from the Mirning culture. A senior elder of the Mirning people, Uncle Bunna Lawrie, one of the award’s three inaugural judges, 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 peoples have been stewards of the natural world of this continent for tens of thousands of years and continue to be so. However, many of these titles honor a connection to the country and tell stories exploring land, community, culture and language.

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

Winners will be announced during Nature Book Week September 5-11. For more information on the price, see the Wilderness Society website.

Category: Junior Distinctions Local News


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