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Marly & Linda Wells announced as winners of the 2023 Daisy Utemorrah Award

Mon, Jun 10, 2024


Magabala Books would like to extend the warmest congratulations to Marly Wells and Linda Wells, the winner of the 2024 Daisy Utemorrah Award for their unpublished manuscript, Dusty Tracks. Presented at the WA Premier’s Book Awards ceremony at the State Library of Western Australia in Perth on Friday 7 June, Marly and Linda were awarded $15,000 and a publishing contract with Magabala Books.

"It's an honour and a privilege to get this opportunity to share our story with the world and be able to contribute to the representation of Indigenous voices telling First Nations stories. They are love stories to culture, people, and land - as well as a tool for fighting ignorance and prejudice. Dusty Tracks is a story for Mparntwe (Alice Springs), a place we know and love." says Marly and Linda Wells.


Marly Wells is a proud Warlpiri woman of Warlpiri and white Australian descent. She grew up in Alice Springs. She completed a Batchelor of Arts at Melbourne University with majors in Sociology and Indigenous Studies. Marly lived in England for two years in her early 20s. She then returned to Alice Springs where she worked in the management of children’s services. Marly has also worked as a freelance editor and researcher for Hardie Grant. She co-wrote a children’s book for the Girls Can Boys Can project in Alice Springs and co-wrote an article for the Saturday Paper about the killing of Kumenjayi Walker at Yuendumu.   

Linda Wells is white Australian and proud to be Marly’s mother. She is a teacher and writer. Linda lived in Central Australia for many years and worked as a teacher on desert communities as well as in Alice Springs. For over ten years Linda also ran a small business, conducting guided walking tours of Alice Springs with a focus on the history and culture. She has a PhD in creative, post-colonial possibilities for writing Australian history and is a published author.  

Daisy Utemorrah Award is a national award that recognises excellence and seeks to grow Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander writing for younger readers. The award is named in honour of the late Daisy Utemorrah, who was an elder of the Wunambal people from the Mitchell Plateau area in the far north Kimberley, and one of the founders of Magabala Books. Utemorrah was an award-winning poet, author, community leader and passionate educator.

Culture and the Arts Minister David Templeman announced the shortlist for the 2024 Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards on May 03:


The Daisy Utemorrah Award is generously supported by the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund and the WA Department of Local Government, Sport, and Cultural Industries.