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)

An empty bed, a broken heart, a family in tears,
their hopes and dreams now torn apart, a message down the years
to generations mourning loss, the closing of a door,
a graveyard with a stark, white cross, the shadow cast by war.

Call the young men from our land,
turn the ploughshares into guns,
hail the time to take a stand
bid farewell to all our sons.

My Grandad was the first to heed the far-flung battle cry:
“Your King and Empire are in need!” And who could then deny
the thousands who obeyed the call and left for foreign shores,
their heads held high, forsaking all to help a noble cause?

Take the strongest of our young,
send them sailing overseas,
sing the songs we’ve always sung,
praise their eagerness to please.

But somewhere outside Pozieres a bullet cut him down,
and though we never knew quite where, the name of that small town
remains with all of us today, a symbol of the price
so many men were forced to pay, the final sacrifice.

Hear the bugle’s haunting sound
Greet first light on Anzac Day,
bow our heads on hallowed ground,
honour them with words we say.

My father was in Singapore the day the city fell,
and so began his private war, a journey into hell
in Changi where he almost died, but though half-starved and ill,
he fought to live and so defied attempts to break his will.

See the wounded who return,
crippled broken, deaf and blind
look away so we can learn
out of sight is out of mind.

The years could never ease his pain or help him to forget;
though wounds might heal, the scars remain, a challenge to be met,
but Changi was a brutal knife that stripped resistance clean,
and far too soon it took his life, with all that might have been.

Store the memories we keep,
now so precious, rich and rare,
ease our sorrow though we weep,
listen to our silent prayer.

Vietnam was my brother’s war, a conscript in the draft.
“That lottery’s a lucky draw,” he said, and then he laughed,
for he was such a cheerful soul, an optimist who’d learned
to make the most of each new goal. . .but not when he returned.

Bleed the courage from a man,
break his spirit, teach him fear,
show him death each way you can,
watch compassion disappear.

For none at home could comprehend what men like him went through,
and they refused to be his friend, to grant him what was due,
which meant he drank the whole day long, denied of all he’d known,
but liquor couldn’t right the wrong, and so he died alone.

Pay respect, but far too late,
grieve the life you couldn’t save,
say the words that resonate,
standing by an open grave.

And now my son has gone away to fight another war,
and I must wait for news each day, as others have before.
I don’t know much of where he’s gone, Afghanistan somewhere,
while I am left to brood upon what fate might find him there.

Keep his room as he has done
through those cherished childhood years,
hope each battle will be won,
pray there’ll be no further tears.

But who am I, you may well ask, to write of warfare’s curse,
the balladeer behind the mask, this story told in verse?
I’m mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, the women who must mourn,
or care for men with shattered lives at break of each new dawn.

Empty beds and broken hearts,
futures changed for evermore,
anguish that each day imparts,
victims of an endless war.

No Glory Here by Shelley Hansen (Third Prize)

Murray Moon by Brenda Joy (Highly Commended)

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

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