Native author piles on the awards

Writer Christine Helliwell.

JUST 4 weeks after having received the Australian Battle Memorial’s $10,000 Les Carlyon Literary Prize, Canberra author Christine Helliwell has been introduced as one of many winners within the 2022 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards for her non-fiction e-book, “Semut: The untold story of a secret Australian operation in WWII Borneo”.

The award was introduced in Launceston at the moment, (December 13) by Arts Minister Tony Burke.

Other than Helliwell within the class of Australian historical past, the winners had been: in fiction, Nicolas Rothwell for “Crimson Heaven”; in poetry, Andy Jackson for “Human Wanting”; in non-fiction, Mark Willacy for “Rogue Forces: An Explosive Insiders’ Account of Australian SAS Battle Crimes in Afghanistan”; in young-adult literature, Leanne Corridor for “The Gaps”; and in youngsters’s literature, Sherryl Clark, with illustrations by Briony Stewart for “ Mina and the Entire Broad World”.

The judges shortlisted 30 titles from greater than 540 eligible entries. The winners every obtain $80,000 tax-free, with shortlisted authors receiving $5000 every.

Helliwell is an ANU anthropologist-turned conflict historian and narrator who spent years dwelling in Borneo longhouses for her educational research.

“Semut” (ant within the Malay language), printed by Penguin, offers with the little identified 1945 covert operation in World Battle II carried out by British and Australian operatives, who engaged the native Dayak individuals to white-ant (therefore the title) Japanese navy operations in what’s now the Malaysian Sarawak.

An thrilling, generally nearly racy account of the operation in Borneo, which brings to life the Dayak peoples of the inside in addition to the machinations of the Aussies and the Brits, the e-book  was additionally runner up in Britain’s Templer Medal for navy historical past and shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Australian Historical past Prize, the ACT Notable E book Awards, and the Reid Prize.