Back To Competition Winners

2015 Overall Winner & recipient of the Babies of Walloon bronze statuette

Chairperson’s School Award

Edwards Property Mentorship Award

Ipswich Theme Awards

Chair’s Encouragement Awards

Rosewood Green Award – Open Age Local Poets

Joy Chambers & Reg Grundy Award – Open Age Other Poetry

Metro Hotel Ipswich International Award – Open Age Bush Poetry

The Pact by Kay Gorring (First Prize)

Empty Beds and Broken Hearts by David Campbell (Second Prize)

No Glory Here by Shelley Hansen (Third Prize)

Murray Moon by Brenda Joy (Highly Commended)

“Thy Will be Done…” by Brenda Joy (Highly Commended)

“They told us John has cancer. Well! I just don’t understand.
He’s still so fit and healthy, he’s my farmer off the land.
He’s always been the robust type and done his share of work –
grown cotton, managed cattle stations, Darling out to Bourke.
I’d noticed he had troubles when some little things occurred,
like dribbling drinks and dropping food; sometimes his speech was slurred
But when the doctor told us, ‘There’s a tumour on the brain! ‘-
Oh, what a time we’ve both been through! But, now we’re home again.

“I know God’s looking after us. When John went for his test
the surgeon was available – he got Australia’s best.
My friends it was an ordeal wondering if he would survive,
but look at him! He’s fine again. The op. kept him alive.
We had to stay in Gosford – all the treatments that they do,
they really are not natural, but, they have pulled him through.
That therapy, that chemo! – Well, it’s all behind us now
and John, he coped with everything. I really don’t know how.

“He kept so calm throughout it all. He nearly lost his life!
I was so scared. I sometimes feel it’s harder on the wife.
But John, is such a legend friends; he never once complained.
The most emotion that he showed was on the night it rained.
Just knowing that the drought had broken seemed to give him peace.
To me it seemed like God himself was sending me release.
There’s so much strain and tension. I won’t listen when they say
the dreaded cancer might come back. I’ll find another way.

“I’ll keep John’s body healthy and without those wretched drugs.
I think they’re so invasive. I tell John but he just shrugs.”
“I’m taking John to Byron; there’s a seminar up there –
a lady from the States; she’s cured herself. The fresh, sea air
will do us both the world of good. I’ll write when I get back.
Can’t wait to see the beach again. I’d better go and pack.”
“Well that was inspirational, I now know what to do.
I’ve books and DVD’s and lots of other info. too.

“I’ll use the Affirmation, ‘John is really on the mend.’
I’m taking him to Queensland. I’m just going to pretend
this cancer never happened. I refuse to live in fear.
It will be great off on the road, the same as every year.”
“John’s coping with the travel though he’s looking pretty thin.
I think he’s getting quite worn out but I’m not packing in.
I’ve carried everything on board. I’m giving John the lot.
I’ll try each cure and remedy. My hope is all I’ve got.”

“I’m reticent to do it but I’d better take John home –
It’s easier to treat him there than when we’re on the roam.
There’s recipes and vitamins – I’m bound to find a cure.
I’m doing everything I can to keep John’s body pure.”
“They want to do more MRV’s. I think that doc’s a quack!
The kids all think the cancer’s worse. They say it’s coming back.
They think I should forget the ‘cures’ but I just can’t accept
that I can’t save their loving Dad. – We fought; we hugged; we wept.

“I really feel outnumbered, but they want to go along
with what the doctors tell them. I just feel that this is wrong.
It only needs one remedy to turn the tables ‘round.
If they would just support me – there are ways that can be found.”
“John says the stock are looking good. He’s really not aware
of all the traumas we’ve been through. He gave us all a scare.
He toppled over yesterday. He’s got this twitching eye.
His ear’s all ‘cauliflowered’. All I want to do is cry.”

“I’m angry with the doctors: They have found another growth.
This really is too cruel, but I’m pretty sure we both
have come to the agreement, he won’t have another op.
There’s risk of damage to the brain. I wish that they would stop
enforcing medications and just let me have my head.
John hasn’t said it to me but I think that he must dread
the thought of lost capacity. Australian men are tough.
He won’t give in but in his eyes – I see he’s had enough.”

I’m like a wreck, I wish I didn’t weep all through the night.
I’m shaking and afraid to sleep. I’m frightened that he might…
not make it through till morning. I’m exhausted now, and John
seems lost within another world. He just keeps talking on
about the land and cattle and the Darling River days. –
I guess we all get through our trials in many different ways.”
“I won’t be posting for a while, our time is running out.
I thank you all for your support but now it’s all about…

“…my darling man. He’s weak and frail and needs my constant care.”
“Oh John, I’ll get your sticks my love. I’ll help you to your chair.
Lean on me Darling, we can’t risk you falling down again.
Just drink this Darling, take this tablet, it will ease your pain.
“Oh Darling, let me bathe you now, it isn’t any fuss.
I’ll cool your sweating forehead. Let’s get rid of all this pus.
These lumps of rot that cancer grows to make you all deformed.
They told me of corroding flesh but nobody has warned…

“This rotten stench, it permeates – this toxic brooding smell.
That’s Death! It hovers round to take you from this earthly Hell.
I’ve done all that I can my John to keep you in this life
but though I love you darling, as your soul mate and your wife,
the time we’ve shared together here, is drawing to a close.
You’ve lived a full and happy life fulfilling dreams you chose.
But now your God is calling you and I can’t hold you back.
Farewell my Aussie hero. I will meet you down the track. ”

“At last I gained the fortitude to bid my John Goodbye.
I didn’t beat that demon but I gave it my best try.
I have to face it, John has gone. He’s silent and he’s cold –
a withered wraith of human flesh – a body, wracked and old.
I know you’ll mourn his passing but no-one can really know
unless you’ve lived with cancer. It’s horrific and it’s slow.”
“Dear God, keep John within Your care and please, help me accept,
this is, ‘Thy Will be done…’not mine.” – I’ve cursed; I’ve raged; I‘ve wept

Mine on Koolan Island by Hugh Allan (Highly Commended)

Jack, My Friend by Shelley Hansen (Highly Commended)

Ipswich City Council Award – 16-17 Years

Queensland Times Award- 14-15 Years

Broderick Family Award – 11-13 Years

Ipswich District Teacher Librarian Network Award – 8-10 Years

River 94.9 Award – 5-7 Years