ASA Medal

The ASA Medal is awarded biennially to an Australian author or illustrator who has made an outstanding contribution to Australian culture as both a creator and an advocate. The recipient will have a significant body of work, and, in addition, will have strived to encourage and support their peers, having mentored and fostered emerging writers and/or illustrators.

We are delighted to announce the 2023 ASA Medal has been awarded to Helen Garner.

Helen Garner is one of Australia’s most beloved, celebrated, and admired authors, whose work has been published to acclaim for more than 40 years. Her impact on Australian literary culture is immeasurable and unparalleled.

Garner’s literary output includes novels, stories, screenplays and works of non-fiction for which she has been widely awarded. Her debut novel, Monkey Grip was awarded the National Book Council Award in 1978, Cosmo Cosmolino was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award in 1993, her Time feature Did Daniel Have to Die? was awarded the 1993 Walkley Award for Best Feature Writing, and The Spare Room won the 2008 Victorian Premier’s Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction, the Queensland Premier’s Fiction Book Award and the 2009 Barbara Jefferis Award.

In 2006, Garner was awarded the Melbourne Prize for Literature, in 2019 the Australia Council Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature and in 2020 the Lloyd O’Neil Award for Services to the Australian Book Industry at the Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA).

Aside from Garner’s fearless and compelling writing, and her unique depiction of Australian people, society, and urban life in both Melbourne and Sydney, the ASA Board deeply admires Garner’s advocacy and support of other writers. Garner has generously given time to mentor other writers, and has inspired, challenged and entertained countless readers. She has lent her name and support to ASA advocacy and recently made a powerful submission to the National Cultural Policy consultation.

Past esteemed recipients include Bruce Pascoe (2021), Thomas Keneally (2019), Edel Wignell (2017), Valerie Parv AM (2014), Nadia Wheatley (2014), Robert Pullan (2012), Hazel Edwards OAM (2009), Glenda Adams (2007), Inga Clendinnen AO (2005), Tim Winton (2003) and Anita Heiss (2003).

About the Medal

Each medal is handcrafted in sterling silver by Yuwaalaraay-Gamilaraay artist Melissa Stannard. The design was inspired by the estuarine mangrove river systems, where fresh and saltwater meet, merge and blend. These mangrove systems provide a haven of safety, serenity as well as a healing nurturing habitat for fingerlings and the next generation of other new life. The design references the supportive and uplifting work and inspirational contributions of medal recipients. We thank Melissa Stannard for her beautiful design.

Key dates

Nominations open

19 April 2023

Nominations close

2 June 2023, 5pm AEST

Application elements

ASA members are welcome to nominate any Australian author or illustrator they wish to be considered for the 2023 ASA Medal. Self-nomination is not permitted. The nominee does not have to be an ASA member.

Nominations must be received via the online nomination form with a 500-word max. reason for nomination.

Nominations must conform to the ASA Medal’s Terms and Conditions. Any nominations that do not meet the terms and conditions will not be considered.

How to apply

Nominations for the 2023 ASA Medal have closed. The Medal will be awarded at the Colin Simpson Memorial Keynote in Melbourne on 14 November 2023.

Queries should be directed to [email protected] or call on 02 9211 1004.

Past winners

The Australian Society of Authors (ASA) is proud to announce that the 2021 ASA Medal has been awarded to Bruce Pascoe!


Established in 2003, the ASA Medal is awarded biennially to an Australian author or illustrator who has made an outstanding contribution to Australian culture, both as a creator and an advocate.


Bruce Pascoe is an award-winning author of over 30 books, an editor, publisher, anthologist, researcher and educator. Bruce’s literary output ranges from short stories to essays, reviews, textbooks, children’s fiction, adult fiction, anthropology, indigenous language and history. Much of his work has shone a spotlight on the history of our First Nations people, sparked dialogue, widely engaged Australians on a re-consideration of Aboriginal agriculture, and challenged colonial assumptions.


The ASA regards Pascoe’s contribution as vital in this age of truth-telling. The Society deeply admires his literary works, as well as his commitment to mentoring and fostering emerging writers throughout his career.