2023 ABIA Judges

Each year, experienced professionals from across the books and publishing industry work together to assess submissions for the Australian Book Industry Awards.

Between them, the judges assess nominations in 20 categories, forming nine specialist panels to review the submissions – in 2023, that’s 14 Book Awards categories, and six Business Awards.

This year, there were 45 ABIA judges. Our thanks to each and every one of the judges for their time and expertise – they’re an essential part of the Awards!


Awards Criteria

The ABIAs celebrate the business of making books and bringing them to readers. Being shortlisted for an ABIA is a mark of excellence – a celebration of every member of the team involved in the work. 

There are many skilled and talented people involved in publishing and selling a book – from the writing and illustration to commissioning, editing, designing, marketing, selling to stores and libraries, and selling to readers themselves. The judging criteria take into account these aspects.


ABIA 2023 judges

Introducing the ABIA judges (in alphabetical order), who represent expertise from across writing, publishing and bookselling:

Elissa Baillie

Melanie Barton

Julie Burland

Bernard Caleo

Nico Callaghan

Stefania Capogna

Andrew Cattanach 

Tom Curtis

Rebecca Diep

Meredith Drake

Stuart Dunstan

Michael Earp

David Gaunt

Ross Gibb 

Daniel Gray-Barnett 

Karen-Maree Griffiths 

Ali Hammond

Grace Heifetz 

Michael Heyward

Matt Hoy

Yazmin Islam

Michaela Kalowski

Melanie Kembrey

Lillian Kovats

Shalini Kunahlan

Karen Lee 

Toni Lodge

Melissa Lucashenko

Sarah McKenzie

Praveen Naidoo

Joel Naoum

Brett Osmond

Kelsey Oldham

Justin Ractliffe 

Keiran Rogers

Dan Ruffino

Jeanne Ryckmans

Saman Shad 

Hsu Tin

Aviva Tuffield 

Erin Wamala

Daniel Watts

Lesley Williams

Tara Wynne

Caitlin Yates


Interested in becoming an ABIA judge in future? Let us know! Contact the APA Office team.