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As part of prepping and researching for my phd candidacy application, I’m playing around with lots of gender numbers in Aussie specfic. This is actually going to be far more intensive and fiddly than I originally thought and I keep coming up with extra ideas and tangents to run off in. Meanwhile, I thought I might throw various plots and snippets here as I compile them. At the moment, nothing really is part of any narrative or train of thought. I’m just amusing myself as I compile a looooot of different sources of information into something usable.

Today I played around with the achievement oriented awards. So these are more to do with rewarding individuals for their contributions to Australian SF/F rather than rewarding a specific accomplishment in the preceding year (like the Ditmars or Aurealis). We have three main awards for these – the A Bertram Chandler which is awarded by a jury on behalf of the Australian SF Foundation; the Peter McNamara Achievement Award for lifetime achievement; and the Peter McNamara Convenors’ Award for excellence.

So, first here are some pie charts of the breakdown of all winners for each award by gender:

Peter Mac Winners

Peter Mc Convenors


You can see we’re hovering around that 25-30% average Russ talks about. The Chandler and the Peter McNamara Convenors’ awards decisions are made by juries. I don’t have the breakdown of those at the moment. However, the Peter McNamara Achievement Award decision is made by one person. A different person is selected each year to make the decision. Here is the gender breakdown of these judges:

Peter Mac Judges

So the breakdown by gender of the judges is the same as for the winners. But interestingly, when you look at who chose whom, only one woman (Helen Merrick) chose to award the Achievement Award to a woman.

Then I thought it might be fun to look at how many people won more than one of these achievement awards – how diverse are each of these awards? In total, there were 47 winners of these three awards. These 47 wins were won by 37 individuals.

Population of Achieve AwardsWon two or more

8 individuals in the Australian SF community have won more than one achievement award but only one of these was a woman – Lucy Sussex. Shaun Tan and Terry Dowling have both won the Peter McNamara Convenors’ Award for Excellence twice – the only ones to have done so. And just one person – Paul Collins – has won all three awards.

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So the rules for the eligibility of the Norma K Hemming Award have been changed. As per the website:

The Norma K. Hemming Award marks excellence in the exploration of themes of race, gender, sexuality, class and disability:

  • in the form of science fiction and fantasy or related artwork or media.
  • produced either in Australia or by Australian citizens.
  • first published, released or presented in the calendar year preceding the year in which the award is given.

The change:

Eligible works are restricted to:
– a single longer work of 17,500 words or more, or
– a collection of shorter works by the one author in a single book.
The work may be a story, a graphic novel, a play or a screenplay.

This does mean that short stories are no longer eligible. However, collections such as those in the Twelve Planets remain eligible.


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