Esteemed editor and publisher Helen Chamberlin has been awarded the 2014 Dromkeen Medal, which honours outstanding contributions to children’s literature.
Helen has worked as an editor and publisher of children’s and young adult books for 40 years. In that time she has nurtured some of Australia’s most celebrated writers, such as Shaun Tan, Anne Spudvilas and Gregory Rogers. Helen also volunteers with the Children’s Literature Australia Network to mentor emerging illustrators and authors, and bring children’s book festivals to schools.
Shaun Tan – author of acclaimed graphic novel The Arrival – said, ‘Helen really is one of our industry’s great quiet achievers, someone with a genuine passion for good literature for readers of all ages, coupled with a wise and patient approach to dealing with authors and artists, as well as the vagaries of publishing, with all its changing economic, cultural and political aspects.’
The Dromkeen homestead in Riddell’s Creek was the home of Courtney and Joyce Oldmeadow, who ran an educational bookshop. Over 30 years, the Oldmeadows built a collection of beloved Australian picture books and Dromkeen became the home of Australian children’s literature, visited by authors, illustrators and thousands of students.
In 1978 Scholastic Australia took responsibility for maintaining the collection and in 1985 bought the homestead to ensure its preservation. In 2012 the Dromkeen Foundation and Scholastic Australia gifted the Dromkeen collection and archive to the State Library of Victoria.
All photographs thanks to James Braund.