Pam Brewster has had an international career in publishing. Currently a Publisher at Hardie Grant Books, she was a 2022 recipient of the George Robertson Award for Distinguished Service to the Publishing Industry.
Pam began her career in publishing as a designer in the Melbourne and London studios of Penguin Books. In spite of her success in this area after opening her own studio in Melbourne, and winning the Joyce Nicholson Award for Best Designed Book of the Year in 1986, Pam changed tacks and went on to join HarperCollins. She is currently a Publisher with HardieGrant Books after joining them 15 years ago.
Throughout her time Pam has been a keen supporter of the Australian publishing industry, advocating for Australian stories to be told nationally and internationally. One of the biggest changes she has witnessed over time is the rise of Australian publishing companies taking Australian stories to the international stage.
‘We need great Australian talent to keep the wheels of Australian publishing turning and have a successful industry that promotes our talented authors.’
Working with authors such as May Gibbs, John McGrath, Cadel Evans and Meredith Gaston, Pam declines to name just one memorable book or experience, ‘every year there is another fantastic book or author that I am proud to publish. I could name a cavalcade of brilliant authors, from all walks of life.’
Pam says what drew her to the industry at the start continues to fuel her passion for publishing books.
‘Publishing is ever-changing and fascinating, you are really at the forefront of what is going on in the world, what both ordinary people and incredibly influential people are thinking about and see as important, or want others to think about. We are constantly reflecting the zeitgeist of our society and as such publishing is an exciting place to be.’
Having worked with many mentors such as Anne O’Donovan, Lisa Highton, Sandy Grant and Julie Pinkham to name a few, Pam is an admirer of Lloyd O’Neill’s approach to publishing and notes ‘the main thing I’ve learned is that you don’t need to compromise on quality to be commercial and to trust your instincts and be passionate.’
Pam is keen to give back to the industry that has supported her, and plans to support the next generation of Australian publishers in an ongoing capacity, saying ‘I’ve had so many mentors that have encouraged me and given me opportunities and advice. I’m keen to mentor the new generation of publishers and editors to fast-track their paths to success'.
Learn more about the other George Robertson Award winners for 2022 here.