22 January 2015: The University of Canberra, in conjunction with the authors, has donated copies of two of the winning books from the Get Real Canberra 2013 Picture Book Competition to primary schools and public libraries across the ACT.
Normally open only to University of Canberra writing and graphic design students, in 2013 to celebrate the Centenary of Canberra, members of the public were also invited to submit books written, illustrated or first published in that year using Canberra as the central theme.
Competition organiser and University of Canberra College lecturer Jane Cassidy described the quality of the shortlisted entries as "exceptional," with local high school and University students, published authors, illustrators, architects and the general public taking part.
Six prizes were awarded in the competition with two books, winner of Outstanding Children's Picture Book The Tallest Tree by University of Canberra student Xiang (Emma) Lei, and winner of Best Early Readers Information Book Inside Canberra by Cynthia Breheny chosen to be published by the University.
Originally from Hunan Province in China, Mrs Lei settled in Canberra 12 years ago and is studying a Bachelor of Graphic Design, after having completed the University of Canberra College Design Diploma. Mrs Lei, who is busy working on her second children's book, said she was "proud and happy" to win the award and to have her book published.
(L-R) Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) Professor Nick Klomp at the University of Canberra Library with Xiang (Emma) Lee and Cynthia Breheny. Photo: Ron Miller.
Cynthia Breheny's book captures many of Canberra's iconic features using illustrations and with language accessible to early readers. She said she was very pleased by the publication of her book and she hoped a lot of early readers in the community and those visiting Canberra would benefit from it. She's now working on an illustrated travellers' guide to the Camino pilgrims' walk between France and Spain.
Both authors welcomed the publication of their books as a step towards new careers as writers and illustrators.
Find out more about the Get Real competition and see the list of the winners here.