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Library and Information Week Awards

The Sharr Award, formerly known as the Sharr Medal, is a prestigious award named in honour of Francis Aubie (Ali) Sharr, State Librarian in Western Australia 1953-1976 in recognition of his contribution to libraries and librarianship. It is presented to a new librarian or library technician (within three years of graduation) who exhibits the most potential to make a significant contribution to the library profession in Western Australia. It has been recognised as one of ALIA’s treasures ( The list of past winners stretches back from Chloe Czerwiec, the 2015 Sharr Award recipient, to the late Jean Ryding, the inaugural winner of the 1976 Sharr Medal. The 1987 Sharr Medal winner, Ann Ritchie, has recently become ALIA's newest Fellow ( The Sharr Award comes with a $500 bursary to be spent on professional development.

ALIAWest wishes to congratulate Sophie Farrar, winner of the 2016 F A Sharr Award. Sophie received her award last night at the Library Board of Western Australia Celebrate Excellence event. Sophie has demonstrated all the qualities outlined in the selection criteria for the Sharr Award. She has demonstrated an understanding of the values of ALIA. She has shown a passion for the profession, involvement in professional bodies, and an understanding of current issues facing the library and information industry. She is also someone who will be an outstanding ambassador for the Award. 

Sophie Farrar with the Sharr honour board

Kym Andrews, ALIAWest Convenor, with Sophie Farrar

ALIAWest would like to acknowledge the support of the State Library and the WA Library Technicians Group in providing members of the selection panel, and members of the profession who volunteer to be referees or encourage graduates to apply. We cannot run the award without the support of the library community and need your help to identify potential candidates and encourage them to put their application in.

As well as the Sharr Award, there were a number of ALIA awards presented. Many WA librarians are eligible for a pin to acknowledge 30, 40, or even 50 years of personal membership of ALIA and pins were presented to those who could attend the event.

50 Years                         

Arthur Downing
Helen Gishubl
Ruth Greble
M Lennie McCall
Margaret Medcalf
Norma Pollard
Maida Stern
Valerie Sutherland
Heather Treadgold
Ian Tweedie
Patricia Walker

40 Years

Barbara Brook
Beatrix Byrne
Carmel Cleary
Susan Freeth
Duncan Furphy
Imogen Garner
Jane Jones
Noreen Kirkman
Anne Lindorff
Christine Richardson
Kerry Smith
Pamela Sotzik
Julia Stevenson
Ian Stone

30 Years

Deanne Barrett
Vivienne Barton
Richard Bickerton
Christina Burnop
Julie Caddy
Catherine Clark
Jean Coleman
George Cowcher
Shirley Cowcher
Robyn Edwards
Julie Ham
Cheryl Hamill
Frances Hammond
Rosemary Hessell
Margaret Hetherington
Robert Hoffman
Gaye Holmes
Pim McCready
Linda McNamara
John Meyer
Agnes Noronha
Mary Phillips
Carol Routley
Gloria Spackman
Rosemary Spark
Heather Stickland
Nareeda Tillman
Vicki Tkacz

25 Years

Ross Withnell

Tamara Capper and Joanne Comerford received their silver pins for serving 5 terms or more on ALIA committees.

Congratulations to all our award recipients and many thanks for your years of dedication and support. Thank you also to the Library Board for providing the opportunity to present our awards in the company of a number of Library Board awards and fellowships.

We have a video of the presentation of the Sharr Award and the other ALIA awards available from

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