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Congratulations to Kunyi June Anne McInerney who has won the Children's Book Award at the 2022 Queensland Literary Awards, for her stunning children's memoir Kunyi.
The Children's Book Award celebrates outstanding books for children up to 12 years of age, and includes a prize of $15,000. The Queensland Literary Awards are made possible by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland and State Library of Queensland. Congratulations to all the shortlisted and celebrated authors!
Kunyi June Anne McInerney was near Oodnadatta in South Australia in 1960. Her family’s language group is Yankunytjatjara. A self-taught artist whose work has been exhibited widely, Kunyi has illustrated several children’s books. Her self-titled book, Kunyi, published in 2021, shares memories and vignettes of life in the Oodnadatta Children's Home and is dedicated to all the Children's Home kids.
The Judges of the Children's Book Award commented:
'At four years old, Kunyi was taken from her family to Oodnadatta Children’s Home where she was made to change her name, speak English and form a new family with other taken children. Raw, honest, significant, Kunyi's collection of stories and paintings details sorrow, courage, resilience and love, and is an unforgettable chronicle of childhood experienced by a Stolen Generations survivor.'
Accepting the award at the ceremony at the State Library of Queensland on 9 September 2022, with her son Ribnga, Kunyi said this was an incredibly proud moment:
'I am very proud to win the award and proud for my family. I can't believe that I won, and I'm so happy that I did this for all the children in the Oonadatta mission home. These are my stories that I want to share, and I hope people read my stories to understand what happened to us as members of the Stolen Generation.'
Kunyi has also been shortlisted for the 2022 Australian Book Industry Awards, Small Publisher's Children's Book of the Year and was a notable title in the Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Awards, Eve Pownall Award.
The Children's Book Award is supported by Susan Hocking and Ian Mackie, and their family, through The Hocking Mackie Trust at APS Foundation.