Recognition and Accolades

Colin Thiele is highly renowned in Australia and worldwide.  He has received significant recognition and praise for his writing, his educational contributions and his advocacy.  Colin Thiele's books won multiple prestigious awards over the years including the Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Award, the Dromkeen Medal, the Centenary Medal, the Austrian State Prize and the Grace Levin Prize for Poetry.

In 1977 Colin Thiele was appointed to be a Companion of the Order of Australia for eminent and meritorious services to literature and education, at the time the second highest level of the Order. 

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The Companion to the Order of Australia, presented to Colin Thiele in 1977

In Colin Thiele's hometown of Eudunda, South Australia, he was honoured with a statue that stands pride of place in the Eudunda Centennial Gardens.  It depicts Colin sitting and writing with the pelican Mr. Percival by his side.


Statue of Colin Thiele in Eudunda Centennial Gardens

Originally created in fibreglass by sculptor Chris Radford, the statue was cast in bronze by Tim Thompson and James Martin to preserve it long-term. The casting process took 5 months and the existing bronze statue was unveiled on 5 November 1995. 

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Article from the Arthritis Foundation of South Australia

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Article from Arthritis Action,1990

Colin Thiele was a long-term active supporter and contributor to the Arthritis Foundation of South Australia, speaking and writing on the subject frequently throughout his life.  He was awarded Life Membership in recognition of his invaluable contributions to the Foundation. 

Colin Thiele was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in the 1950's, which he tolerated with great stoicism and good humour. He had many joint replacement operations and after his retirement, Colin and his wife Rhonda settled at Dayboro, Queensland, for the warmer weather. 

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The Environment award for Children's Literature, received by Colin Thiele in 1997

Colin Thiele's passion and dedication to environmental protection was honoured in 1997 when he became one of the earliest recipients of The Wilderness Society Award for Children's Literature for his book High Valley.

This award celebrates books and authors that promote a love of nature, a sense of caring for the world, and curiosity in children, and is still awarded annually by the Wilderness Society of Australia.