The Sydney PEN Award
The Sydney PEN Award was established in 2006, and is presented annually to a Sydney PEN member who has worked especially hard to promote the Centre’s values and the PEN Charter.
The winner is nominated and voted by Sydney PEN’s management committee, and the award is made possible by the generosity of Sydney PEN member, Jane Morgan, with the support of Mr Charles Wolf at The Pen Shop, Sydney.
Details of previous winners are given below.
Gaby Naher received the 2010 Sydney PEN Award, presented on November 19 during a week-long commemoration of the Day of the Imprisoned Writer and the 50th Anniversary of PEN’s WiP program.
Read a profile of Gaby’s work for PEN, by Charlotte Wood.
Dr Denise Leith
In 2009, the Sydney PEN Award was presented to Dr Denise Leith. Denise helped to establish the Sydney PEN Award in 2006, so it seems fitting that it now exists to recognize how, as her peer Rosie Scott says, ‘she fulfils the criteria of outstanding support and commitment to the aims, values and ideals of PEN in every way’.
Tom Keneally presented the 2008 Sydney PEN Award to writer Chip Rolley on 12 November at our final Sydney 3 Writers lecture event.
Former President of Sydney PEN (2002-2005), Nicholas Jose was awarded the 2007 Sydney PEN Award. Nick was involved with Sydney PEN for eight years before becoming Vice President in 1999, and then acting President in 2001. When elected President a year later, he brought to the position, and the organisation, a new focus, both socially and geographically, and since that time has overseen several important initiatives supporting domestic and international freedom of speech: the formation of the Writers In Detention Committee of Sydney PEN (the first Writers in Detention Committee in International PEN); one of the first public protests against the government’s asylum policy (including a full-page petition in The Weekend Australian in 2001); the first International PEN meeting in China at the 2007 Asia and Pacific Regional Conference in Hong Kong, and the rapid growth of Sydney PEN’s membership, support network and influence. Under Nick’s leadership,“ says former committee member and Sydney PEN Award winner, Chip Rolley, "we became more conscious of getting our message out there – beyond the membership to the general public. A lot of this was accomplished by simply increasing our activity, but Nick gathered a critical mass of people willing to do the necessary work.”
Dr Rosie Scott
The inaugural Sydney PEN Award was given to Dr Rosie Scott at our Day of the Imprisoned Writer event at Gleebooks on 12 November 2006.