Ivan Southall

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Ivan Francis Southall AM, DFC (8 June 192115 November 2008) was an award-winning Australian writer of young-adult fiction and non-fiction. He was the first and still the only Australian to win the Carnegie Medal in Literature for children's literature. His books include Hills End, Ash Road, Josh, and Let the Balloon Go. Also notable is Fly West, a book of true stories based on his experiences flying in Short Sunderland flying boats during the Second World War, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC).

A retrospective exhibition Southall A-Z: Ash Road to Ziggurat was held in the State Library of Victoria in 1998 and is available online. It includes an interview conducted in 1997, a biography, bibliography and exhibition of covers with information about the books.

Ivan Southall dealt in his books both with survival in the face of dramatic events such as fire and flood, and with personal and psychological challenges. He was one of the first to write specifically for young adults.

He died of cancer on 15 November 2008 aged 87.


Ivan Southall won the 1971 Carnegie Medal in Literature for Josh, the first Australian novel to win the award.

Ash Road, To the Wild Sky, Bread and Honey and Fly West won the CBCA Australian Children's Book of the Year. The Long Night Watch was belatedly recognized by the Phoenix Award in 2003.

Ivan Southall was...
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