Adjunct Associate Professor Libby Gleeson AM

BA(Hons)(Sydney), DipEd(Sydney)

Adjunct Associate Professor


Phone: +61 2 9356 5173

Fax: +61 2 9351 5027

Building.Room: A35.451

Professional biography

Libby graduated from the University of Sydney in 1974 with an honours degree in history and a Diploma of Education. She has taught in secondary schools, universities and tertiary colleges in Australia, Italy and London.

In 1984 her first book – Eleanor, Elizabeth – won the Angus & Robertson New Writers for the Young Fellowship and was Highly Commended in the Australian Children’s Book Council Book of the Year Awards. Since then, Libby has written more than 30 titles for children and young people. She has been shortlisted for, or has won, every major literary award in Australia for childrens literature, and is widely published overseas. Her junior novel – Hannah Plus One – won the Book of the Year in 1997. An Ordinary Day, illustrated by Armin Greder, won Picture Book of the Year in 2002 and Amy and Louis, illustrated by Freya Blackwood, won the Early Childhood Book of the Year in 2007.

In 2000, The Great Bear, illustrated by Armin Greder, won the Bologna Ragazzi, the most prestigious award in the world for a childrens picture book. This is the only time this award has been won by an Australian title. In 1997 Libby received the Lady Cutler Award for services to childrens literature. From 1999 to 2001 she was chair of the Australian Society of Authors. She has been the Chair of the Literature and History Committee of the NSW Ministry for the Arts. In 2004 Libby was the May Gibbs Fellow at the University of Canberra, and a Member of the NSW Department of Education panel that decided on awards for excellence in teaching. She is currently chair of the advisory board for the establishment of a Childrens and Youth Literature Centre in Western Sydney. In 2005 Libby received the NSW Minister for Education Medal for Meritorious Service to Public Education. In 2007, Libby was awarded a Medal in the Order of Australia (AM) for her services to literature and literacy learning.

Libby’s recent novel – Mahtab’s Story – is the tale of a young girl and her family escaping the Taliban in Afghanistan and arriving as ‘boat people’ in Australia. Her recent picture book, Clancy and Millie and the Very Fine House, illustrated by Freya Blackwood was published by Little Hare in 2009 and in 2010 was an Honour Book in the Early Childhood Awards for the Children’s Book Council of Australia. In 2011 two picture books will be published – I am Thomas illustrated by Armin Greder, a work for adolescents; and Look, A Book – illustrated by Freya Blackwood, a picture book for young children.

Libby is married to scientist Dr Euan Tovey and they have three daughters.

A complete list of titles is available on Gleeson’s website.


  • 2011 Special Award NSW Premier's Literary Awards

  • 2007 Order of Australia (AM)

  • 2005 Meritorious Service to Public Education and Training Award, Awarded by the New South Wales Government

  • 2000 Bologna Ragazzi Award for Children's Fiction,2000

  • 1997, 2002, 2007 Children's Book Coucil of Australia, Book of the Year

  • 1997 Lady Cutler Award for services to Children's Literature

Professional and community roles

  • Board director Copyright Agency Limited (2005 -present)

  • Director Public Education Foundation (2007 - present)

  • Founding Chair Advisory Group WestWords: Western Sydney Centre for Children's and Youth Literature (2007 - present)

  • Foundation Member Premier's Reading Challenge