The Elyne Mitchell Rural Writing Award commemorates internationally renowned Silver Brumby author Elyne’s life and work, and hopes to encourage women all over Australia to write their stories and send them in
Elyne’s love of wildlife, and in particular the Azure Kingfisher, is represented in the logo for this award, designed by Giselle Dosen for Friends of Corryong Library.
The Elyne Mitchell Rural Writing Award not only commemorates Elyne’s life and work, but it has also been established to encourage people living in a rural setting to write their stories, fact or fiction.
Elyne was born in 1913 in Melbourne. In 1935, she married Tom Mitchell, a barrister and later parliamentarian, and lived at Towong Hill, 10km from Corryong. Elyne was a keen sportswoman. She enjoyed skiing, perhaps most of all. Although she is remembered particularly for the Silver Brumby series of children’s books, she wrote other novels and non-fiction relating to the Snowy Mountains and family and military history.
Although interested in all facets of nature and particularly the Upper Murray region, Elyne had a soft spot for the Azure Kingfisher. She would often float in the lagoon, hoping that the kingfishers might forget she was there and she would catch a glimpse.
Elyne received a number of awards including:
- an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Charles Sturt University (1993);
- Order of Australia Medal for services to literature (1990);
- Children’s Book Council awards (1959-1968).
In 2001 the Corryong Branch of the Upper Murray Regional Library was renamed The Elyne Mitchell Public Library and a permanent display of her work can be viewed there.