State cultural treasure award claimed by Albany-raised writer Kim Scott

Stuart McGuckinAlbany Advertiser
Kim Scott has won the 2022 State cultural treasure award for writing.
Camera IconKim Scott has won the 2022 State cultural treasure award for writing. Credit: Jarrad Seng

Acclaimed Albany-raised author Kim Scott was recognised as a State cultural treasure at an awards ceremony held in Perth last week.

Scott was named the winner of the State Cultural Treasure Awards’ writing prize, presented on December 7.

He said he was flattered, honoured and complimented by the award.

“You realise of course that you have to be old to get one of these, that’s the main qualifying factor,” he said.

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“The group that nominated me checked that it would be all right with me first but it was still a surprise, that’s for sure.

“I’m not a prolific writer. It’s quite a while between major books because I do a lot in between — so in that sense it was a very pleasant surprise.”

The awards, formerly known as the State Living Treasures, have previously been handed out in 1998, 2004 and 2015 to 38 recipients.

Eight award-winners, including Scott, were added to the honour roll this year.

“It’s an honour of course just to be in such esteemed and well-respected company of the eight recipients,” he said.

Among the accolades and honours mentioned in Scott’s award citation were two Miles Franklin award wins, being honoured as Western Australian of the year in 2012, and an induction into the WA Writers Hall of Fame in 2020.

He pointed towards his ongoing work with the Wirlomin Noongar Language and Stories Project as something he remained especially proud of.

“It’s very important to me and that’s why I choose to do it,” he said. “I’ve been doing it for a long time.

“I’m so bold to think its quite important to all of us in the long run.

“Not only to preserve that culture, but enhance it and consolidate it — it’s a major currency in the denominations of identity and belonging.”

Premier Mark McGowan said the awards honoured WA artists and organisations that had made “outstanding lifelong contributions to their artform and community”.

“The 2022 list of award recipients is testament to the cultural and geographical diversity of our vast State, and our recipients’ work and careers have provided a long-lasting legacy to the arts and cultural landscape within WA,” he said.

“Each of the 2022 recipients has inspired audiences and communities alike in sharing stories which profoundly reflect our Western Australian identity.”

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