Winner 2008 Queensland Premier’s Literary Award for Best Emerging Author
Highly Commended 2009 FAW Christina Stead Award
Winner 2012 IBBY Australia Ena Noël Award
A confronting tale of heartbreak and redemption.
Omega Park is a housing commission estate on the fringes of Queensland’s Gold Coast. Dingo Patterson and Jacob Box are growing up and trying to survive.
Surrounded by broken families, crime and desperation, they are young men with dreams of a different life. When a car chase ends in tragedy for one of the boys, relations with police and within the community reach crisis point.
‘Omega Park is an engaging read and exerts a considerable narrative grip. This tour through the dark underside of the Gold Coast is eye-opening and ultimately satisfying.’ Australian Literature Review
‘Omega Park is a powerful first novel.’ Bookseller + Publisher
‘Amy Barker has written a gently fierce story that is one of the best novels of this year.’ Courier Mail
‘The strength of Barker’s debut resides in her unflinching descriptions of Omega Park and her evident yet clear-eyed sympathy for those trapped within its confines.’ Weekend Australian
‘This is not the Gold Coast of the tourism ads and postcards, but is a representation of the cold reality of every modern city.’ Gold Coast Bulletin
The judges were unanimous in choosing Omega Park as winner of the biennial award, established in 1994 by IBBY Australia founding president Ena Noël with the aim of encouraging and assisting young, emerging Australian authors and illustrators of children’s and YA books.
Omega Park has been shortlisted in the Fellowship of Australian Writers (FAW) National Literary Awards, achieving a Highly Commended in the FAW Christina Stead Award for 2009.
Now in its twenty third year, the Christina Stead Award is for a work of fiction first published in Australia.
Other Highly Commended authors in this category were Sonia Hartnett for Butterfly, HM Brown for Red Queen and Adair Robin for Death & the Running Patterer, while David Brooks was Commended for The Umbrella Club and Justine Larbalestier won for her book Liar.
The judges commented, “Originality; skilful writing and plotting; and insight into the human condition were the common threads that linked all the books that made it on to the short-list… The compulsion to keep reading was strong in each of the short-listed titles…Un-put-down-ability was a box that each of the short-listed books ticked.”