Tuesday, November 19, 2019


THE Canberra Critics Circle judging panel for its 2019 awards was as follows:

Frank McKone . Helen Musa . Rob Kennedy . Tony Magee . John Landt . Meredith Hinchliffe . Bill Stephens . Alanna Maclean . Joe Woodward . Kerry-Anne Cousins . Cris Kennedy . Samara Purnell . Simone Penkethman . Michelle Potter . Arne Sjostedt . Clinton White . Len Power . John Lombard . Phillip Mackenzie . Graham McDonald . Peter Wilkins . Ian McLean . Jane Freebury . Caren Florance 

The full list of 2019 CCC awards citations appears below: 

Ginger Gorman
For Troll Hunting: Inside the world of online hate and its human fallout, published by Hardie Grant Books. For her original, relevant and insightful contribution to the worldwide challenge of cyberhate. Well written and meticulously researched, this debut book takes us to some of the darkest places on the internet in an intense personal journey that explores the issues, motives and impacts around the phenomenon of trolling. 

Kathryn Hind
For Hitch, her breath-taking debut novel that is both tender and tense and wholly original, published by Penguin Random House.

Nigel Featherstone
For Bodies of Men, published by Hachette. The author shows a remarkable capacity to bring characters from the past to life in a compassionate love story that spans the continents from Sydney to Alexandria, while overturning conventional Australian ideas about masculinity.

Historical Fiction
Robert Macklin
For Castaway: The true survival story of Narcisse Pelletier, published by Hachette. The book interleaves the imagined personal story of Narcisse with the factual record of abuses perpetrated on the Aborigines to provide an engrossing, fresh perspective on the rich cultural life of Aboriginal Australia before colonisation and the devastation wreaked upon them.

Moya Pacey and Sandra Renew
For their influential work in exposing Canberra women’s poetry to view through their biannual online journal for women's poetry, Not Very Quiet.
Australian Dance Party
For the company’s production, From The Vault. Choreographed and directed by Alison Plevey in collaboration with dancers Olivia Fyfe, Stephen Gow, Eliza Sanders, Alana Stenning and Ryan Stone and with live music and sound by Alex Voorhoeve and Andy McMillan along with evocative lighting by Mark Dyson, costumes designed by Imogen Keen and dramaturgy by Karla Conway, From The Vault was an outstanding collaborative endeavour. Brilliantly conceived and executed, it was the dance highlight of the year.

Zara Bartley and Daniel Convery of Bravissimo Productions
For their initiative in attracting outstanding national and international dancers to Canberra for a gala production, World Stars of Ballet. The enterprise demonstrated courage and resourcefulness, along with a determination to put Canberra forward as a venue for world-class ballet productions.

Ryan Stone
For his committed performance in Australian Dance Party’s From the Vault. His outstanding dancing, with its freedom and fluidity within the set choreography, displayed a remarkable mastery of how the body moves through and in space, which is at the heart of all dancing. 

Nathan Rutup
For his high-energy choreography in the musical Heathers. Directed by Kelly Roberts and Grant Pegg for Dramatic Productions, the dance numbers were so polished and in-tune with the material, it is difficult to imagine these songs done any other way. 

To The Street Theatre
For an imaginative and powerfully expressive interpretation and performance of Metamorphosis, adapted by Steven Berkoff from Franz Kafka’s novella and directed by Adam Broinowski.

To Mockingbird Theatre
For the ambitious and moving production directed by Chris Baldock of The Laramie Project and The Laramie Project Ten Years Later in what was an outstanding example of ensemble acting and the effective power of verbatim theatre.

To Jarrad West
For his expert and imaginative directing of 12 Angry Men by Reginald Rose for Everyman Theatre in the Queanbeyan Bicentennial Hall.

To David Atfield
For the writing and direction of Exclusion, presented at The Street Theatre, a genial, sensitive, witty production about sexual politics, set in Canberra. 

To Omar Musa
For his powerful blending of global and domestic narratives in his timely tale, Since Ali Died. Especially noted is Musa's adept and self-deprecating delivery that is at once inclusive and confronting.
To Christopher Samuel Carroll
For consistently excellent and diverse performance work  in Howie the Rookie by Mark O’Rowe at Smith’s Alternative, for performing, writing and directing Icarus at The Street Theatre and for playing Malvolio in Lakespeare’s outdoor Twelfth Night.

To producers Lisa Shaunnessy & Andy Marriott and director Tony D’Aquino
For The Furies, bold genre filmmaking that has drawn strong reviews from its international festivals run, showcased the talent of the Canberra region and used local locations to create a unique new sub-genre, ‘ghost gum horror.’ 

Visual Arts
Julie Ryder
For her deeply researched, beautifully constructed and diverse body of work exploring the contribution of nineteenth-century female citizen scientists to contemporary knowledge of botany, The Hidden Sex at Craft ACT.

Visual Arts
Raquel Ormella
For I hope you get this, a colourful, provocative and contemporary approach to textiles that challenged current political and environmental issues to great effect, at the Drill Hall Gallery.

Visual Arts
Dianne Fogwell
For her major work in the exhibition Paper: cut, stain, fold, and press at Beaver Galleries. The artist’s poignant black and white linocuts, Lost birds, depicted threatened bird species and the accompanying artist’s book, Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, was an eloquent and moving memorial to the tenth anniversary of the Canberra bushfires.

Visual Arts
Hiroe Swen
 For her exhibition Fifty Flights of Fancy at the Watson Arts Centre. The artist’s creative spirit is inspiring. Her ceramics works display imagery that is poetic in nature and visually beautiful. Personal in inspiration her work nevertheless reaches out to include us in the conversation. 

Visual Arts
Helen Aitken-Kuhnen and Mio Kuhnen
For their joint exhibition Transfer, at Bilk Gallery. These two artists demonstrated in a series of beautiful jewellery a thoughtful response to the natural world as well as a mastery of complex enamel techniques informed by their recent study tour in Japan. 

Visual Arts
Gilbert Riedelbauch
For his precisely calculated, colourful, folded and curved wall pieces in Form Follows Fold, at Craft ACT, demonstrating his skills as a metalsmith 

Visual Arts
Keiko Amenomori-Schmeisser
For her sophisticated and elegant exhibition Folding Indigo, at Craft ACT. The work showed her eloquent sense of design and her innate knowledge of the art of shibori.

Barbara Jane Gilby
For leading the classical ensemble Canberra Strings with authority and precision, selecting players whom she knows can work together to form a union of the finest musical artistry and for jointly delivering a superbly played, moving and thought-provoking performance of Schoenberg’s Transfigured Night and Richard Strauss’ Metamorphosen.

Louise Page and Phillipa Candy.
For their impeccably curated and presented farewell concert, A Celebration, which featured a program in which the music was celebrated, making this a memorable showcase of their extraordinary professionalism and performance careers. 


Michael Dooley
For an outstanding body of new music compositions, encompassing musical styles, from classical through choral to jazz for an array of instrumental and vocal ensembles, enhanced by the release of new recordings and a broad performance schedule.

Christopher Latham
For his work over ten years researching composers and musicians of World War I and his four-year concert project, The Flowers of War, culminating in The Diggers Requiem, in which he commissioned works from six Australian composers, wrote a movement himself, and of which he conducted the world premiere performance at Amiens and the Australian premiere performance in Canberra.

Dan Walker
For quickly making a significant contribution to Canberra’s general choral music culture after moving to Canberra at the end of 2018, and especially for his masterful preparation of the enlarged Canberra Choral Society for their performance of Haydn’s Nelson Mass, and Mozart’s Requiem, creating perfect tonal balance, pitch accuracy, and expression across the circa 200 choristers.

Canberra’s Romanian music band, Super Rats
For their exciting, authentic and thoroughly-researched performances of muzică lăutarească, Romanian and Roma traditional music.

Musical Theatre
Pee Wee Productions
For its ambitious stadium production of the Ben Elton musical, We Will Rock You. Directed by Kelda McManus with musical direction by Andrea Clifford-Jones, this production displayed excellent production values and innovative staging. 

Musical Theatre
Pippin Carroll
For his performance in Everyman Theatre’s production of Assassins as both The Balladeer and Lee Harvey Oswald. With his fine singing voice, together with the depth of character displayed confidently in two very different and difficult roles, he gave an outstanding performance.

Musical Theatre
Charlotte Gearside.
For exceptional performances in three very different musicals,  Heathers, Beauty and the Beast and Legally Blonde, but most particularly for her leading role in Legally Blonde, which provided her the opportunity to display her wide acting range and exceptional vocal skills.