Perpetual, as Trustee of the Miles Franklin Literary Award, today announced A. S. Patrić as the winner of the 2016 award for his debut novel, Black Rock White City.
The Miles Franklin Literary Award, recognised as Australia’s most prestigious literary prize, was established in 1954 through the will of My Brilliant Career author, Miles Franklin. The award was intended to encourage and support writers of Australian literature, and has now distributed more than $1 million in philanthropic funds to authors.
Mr Patrić will receive $60,000 in prize money for his novel, which was considered to have presented “Australian life in any of its phases” and was judged to be of the “highest literary merit”, the two criteria set out by Miles Franklin in her will. As a 2016 finalist Mr Patrić received $5,000 in May along with the other short listed authors from the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund.
The book was selected from a short list of powerful Australian voices depicting unforgettable characters – including authors Peggy Frew, Myfanwy Jones, Lucy Treloar and Charlotte Wood.
Commenting on behalf of the judging panel, State Library of NSW Mitchell Librarian, Richard Neville, said the novel delivers a powerful and raw account of the migrant experience in Australia, exploring the damages of war, and the possibility of redemptive love, in the context of debilitating emotional and physical dislocation.
Mr Neville said it is a novel of compassion and challenge, its driving, urgent narrative envelops the reader in one of the great issues of our time.
Mr Neville was joined on the judging panel by The Australian journalist and columnist, Murray Waldren; Sydney bookseller, Lindy Jones; writer and editor, Craig Munro; and Emeritus Professor, Susan Sheridan.
Over a period of more than 60 years, Miles Franklin’s initial investment of $17,844 in decimal currency has grown to the value of more than $1.3 million through professional investment management.
Perpetual’s National Manager of Philanthropy, Caitriona Fay, said: “The Miles Franklin Award is a prime example of how philanthropy can impact the lives of others for generations.
“We’re passionate about helping philanthropists give in a way that creates real community benefits. The success and longevity of the Miles Franklin Award highlights how a well- managed, diligent investment process can have such a positive impact on an entire industry and so many individuals.
“This year’s Award brings the total prize money distributed by Perpetual on behalf of Miles Franklin to more than $1 million dollars, confirming her gift is still well and truly alive. We are privileged to be a part of such an important legacy,” Ms Fay said.
The Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund has been supporting the Miles Franklin Literary Award since 2004, providing more than half a million dollars in prize money to all of the finalists in recognition of their achievements. In 2016, the Copyright Agency is the award’s major sponsor.
The Copyright Agency’s Chief Executive, Adam Suckling, said: “While Australians consume culture from all over the world, there’s nothing that resonates more than reading about our own experiences and challenges. The Award is a tremendous recognition of Alec’s emergence as an exciting and compelling writer who is bringing incredible Australian stories to life.”
The announcement was made at the opening night of the Melbourne Writers Festival.
Join the Miles Franklin conversation on social media: Twitter: @_milesfranklin
About the Miles Franklin Literary Award
Perpetual is Trustee for the Miles Franklin Literary Award. The Award was established in 1954 by the estate of My Brilliant Career author Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin to celebrate the Australian character and creativity. It supports the betterment of Australian literature by each year recognising the novel of the highest literary merit which presents Australian Life in any of its phases. The 2015 winner of the prize was Sofie Laguna for her novel The Eye of the Sheep.
About Perpetual Philanthropic Services
Perpetual is one of Australia’s largest managers and distributors of philanthropic funds with $2.4 billion in funds under advice (as at 31 December 2015). Perpetual is trustee for over 1000 charitable trusts and endowments and provides individuals and families with advice on establishing charitable foundations and structured giving programs. Perpetual also assists charities and not-for-profit organisations with investment advice and management.
Perpetual’s Philanthropic Services and advice are provided by Perpetual Trustee Company Limited (PTCo), ABN 42 000 001 007, AFSL 236643. This publication has been prepared by PTCo and contains information contributed by third parties. It contains general information only and is not intended to provide advice or take into account personal objectives, financial situation or needs. The information is believed to be accurate at the time of compilation and is provided by PTCo in good faith. To the extent permitted by law, no liability is accepted for any loss or damage as a result of any reliance on this information. PTCo does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of any information included in this document which was contributed by a third party.
About the Copyright Agency and Cultural Fund
The Copyright Agency is an Australian not-for-profit organisation that has been standing up for creators for more than 40 years. We enable the reuse of copyright-protected words and images in return for fair payment to creators. Our vision is for a world that encourages and supports creativity, communication and learning.
The Copyright Agency provides simple ways for people to reproduce, store and share words, images and other creative content, in return for fair payment to creators. We are committed to encouraging the development of lively and diverse markets for published works with our range ofcommercial licences and through our Cultural Fund.
The Cultural Fund is the philanthropic arm of the Copyright Agency, contributing meaningfully to a wide range of Australian cultural, educational and artistic programs and creators. Through its support it fosters greater understanding and engagement of national culture both locally and internationally.
Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund has been a proud supporter of the Miles Franklin Award since 2004, granting more than half a million dollars to this premier Australian literary prize.
For further information about the Miles Franklin Literary Award, visit http://www.milesfranklin