Established in 2003, the ASA Medal is awarded biennially in recognition of an outstanding contribution to the Australian writing community. The medal complements the ASA's main focus as an advocate for the rights of authors and illustrators.
Each ASA Medal is fashioned from mother of pearl (guan) and silver, designed by Indigenous designer Darrell Sibosado and crafted by Garry Sibosado. The design represents Mirrloord 'the olive python' from the stories of the Bard people of Lombadina on the Dampier Peninsula in the West Kimberleys, 300 kms north of Broome.
The medal design originates from an ornament used during traditional ceremonies celebrating different aspects of the Bard culture. These ornaments were made from guan and were worn on the waist, hung from hair belts. The design on the ornaments varies depending on the ceremony.
Descendants of the Bard people, Garry and Darrell have continued the traditional work of their people and now incorporate contemporary tools and Darrell's designs into their work.
Terms and conditions
- The Medal will be awarded solely on the basis of the contribution made by the recipient to Australian writing. Such contribution includes, but is not limited to, work which supports, encourages or fosters writing or illustrating and in so doing makes a significant contribution to Australian culture.
- The recipient does not have to be a member of the ASA.
- The nominee must be alive at the time of nomination.
- Financial members may make nominations on the nomination form.
- The consent of the nominee is not required for nomination but the consent of the winning nominee will be sought by the ASA before announcement.
- Self-nomination is not permitted.
- Reasons for nominations, with supporting material, shall be provided at the time of nomination to a limit of 500 words.
- The ASA will appoint a judging panel in each year in which the award is offered.
- The judging panel may seek further material in support of any nomination.
- The decision of the judging panel will be final.