In 2016, we had a bumper crop of nominations for the Australasian Journal on Ageing (AJA) Book Award – eight books were nominated for the prize. In 2017, the number of books nominated was even higher: 11 books.Consequently, a panel of 11 reviewers was recruited to assist with reading the books, rating them on a range of criteria, choosing the winner and writing reviews for the AJA. As in previous years, I coordinated the process.Competition for the award was exceptionally strong this year, with several worthy contenders for the prize. After much discussion, the panel chose to nominate both a winner and a highly commended contribution, respectively:A Long Time Coming: Essays on Old Age. M. Joosten Scribe Publications, Melbourne, 2016. ISBN (13) 9781925321371 (paperback). ISBN 9781925307504 (eBook).Healthy Ageing and Aged Care. M. Bernoth and D. Winkler (eds). Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 2016. ISBN 9780195597585 (paperback). ISBN 9780195597592 (eBook).Sincere congratulations to Melanie Joosten, Associate Professor Maree Bernoth, and Dr Denise Winkler for these outstanding publications.The winners of the AJA Book Award were announced at the Annual General Meeting of the Australian Association of Gerontology, held at their 50th Annual National Conference in Perth in November 2017.Each of the nominated books is usually reviewed in the first edition of the AJA following the announcement of the Book Award results. This year, given the number of entrants, the reviews will be published during 2018.Reviews of the two winning books will be published in the next edition of the AJA, but I would like to share some comments from the panel about the books, as both are departures from the usual recipients of the AJA Book Award.Melanie Joosten's book is a collection of essays representing lay perspectives on ageing. The book was described by its reviewers as very moving, and as breaking new ground in the extent to which it incorporated an Indigenous Australian perspective.The textbook by Maree Bernoth and Denise Winkler was seen as easy to navigate and one of the most successful and accessible of its kind. It deals with key issues in ageing, including difficult and neglected topics such as intimate relationships, the experience of ageing among Indigenous Australians or Maori, and older homeless people and prisoners.The book reviews included in the current edition of the AJA feature books by two well‐known Australian researchers who each authored or edited three books nominated for the 2017 award – Professors Hal Kendig and Nancy Pachana. The contributions of these two leaders have been enormous in Australia and internationally over many decades. The extent of their representation in the 2017 award gives some indication of the calibre of books nominated for the award and the difficulty the panel had in identifying winners.Finally, many thanks to the members of the panel who assisted with the process of selecting the prize winner and writing the reviews that appear in this edition (and later editions) of the AJA.
Australasian Journal on Ageing – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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