Magabala Books Claims Top Gong at Australian Book Industry Awards

Magabala Books Claims Top Gong at Australian Book Industry Awards

Magabala Books, a leading Western Australian First Nations publisher, has secured the prestigious Small Publisher of the Year award at the Australian Book Industry Awards held in Naarm (Melbourne) on Thursday night. Magabala Books Claims Top Gong at Australian Book Industry Awards

This win marks a significant achievement for Magabala Books, established over four decades ago. It arose from a gathering of more than 500 Aboriginal Elders in the Kimberley who envisioned a way to preserve First Nations culture and safeguard Indigenous intellectual property.

From its Broome base, Magabala Books has published over 250 titles by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander authors, artists, and illustrators, including renowned names like Alexis Wright, Ali Cobby-Eckermann, and Alison Whittaker.

Prior to the awards ceremony, Magabala CEO Lilly Brown spoke to the National Indigenous Times about the significance of the nomination. She emphasized how industry recognition strengthens their position: “The nomination is valuable for our standing within the publishing industry, which is quite small in Australia.”

Highlighting their not-for-profit status, Ms. Brown stated, “While Magabala operates as a non-profit, all profits are reinvested into supporting First Nations people in telling their own stories. Accessibility to these stories, narrated in the authors’ own voices, is crucial, as many people feel they lack knowledge about First Nations narratives.”

The judges acknowledged Magabala Books’ extensive contributions, impacting all publishing levels. “This accomplishment is remarkable for any publisher, particularly impressive for one operating outside major metropolitan hubs,” they remarked. “Magabala produced a remarkably diverse collection of titles in the past year, while upholding best practices in supporting emerging Indigenous creators and early-career staff.”

This victory adds to Magabala Books’ growing reputation as one of Australia’s fastest-growing independent small publishers. Their previous win in the Small Publisher of the Year category came in 2020.

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