History of the Kibble Literary Awards

Nita May Dobbie established the Nita B Kibble Literary Awards for Women Writers in recognition of her aunt, Nita Bernice Kibble. Miss Kibble raised her from birth after her mother died and was also the first woman to be appointed a librarian with the State Library of New South Wales.

The first female librarian

In the late 1800s, Miss Kibble had successfully answered an advertisement for a junior assistant at the Public Library of New South Wales, when her signature was taken for a man's. She later became the first female librarian with the State Library of New South Wales and held the position of Principal Research Officer from 1919 until her retirement in 1943. Throughout her career she worked hard to raise the status of the library profession and was a founding member of the Australian Institute of Librarians.

Miss Dobbie followed her aunt into the library profession and recognised the need to foster women's writing in the community and so established the Awards through her will.

A lasting legacy

Since the inception of the Kibble Literary Awards in 1994, many of Australia's leading women writers have received prizes, each benefiting from Nita Dobbie's foresight and vision.

The trust behind the Awards was established with just under $400,000 and is managed by Perpetual. Today, it's worth more than $740,000 and has awarded over $530,000 to writers.

About Perpetual

Perpetual is one of the largest managers of private charitable and philanthropic foundations in Australia, with $2.1 billion in funds under management, as at 30 June 2014. Perpetual manages more than 990 charitable trusts and endowments which support cultural, medical, social, environmental, religious and educational causes. Visit our website for more information about how we can help set up a charitable trust.


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Perpetual Philanthropic Services and advice are provided by Perpetual Trustee Company Limited (PTCo), ABN 42 000 001 007, AFSL 236643. This information has been prepared by PTCo. It contains general information and is not intended to provide you with advice or take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs.