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Queensland Times Award- 14-15 Years

Broderick Family Award – 11-13 Years

2016 Overall Winner & recipient of the Babies of Walloon bronze statuette

Chairperson’s School Award

Edwards Property Mentorship Award

Wandjina by Maureen Clifford ()

The days before were hot and dry,
the months before as well,
at times a bank of clouds appeared –
but just as quickly disappeared
a misted mauve light bathed the land
and in the paddock he would stand
talking to ghosts with spirit voices –
“not one bloke down here rejoices
we are walking pathways all leading straight to hell”.

Long days continued hot and dry
with no relief in sight.
He watched his money disappear
along with hope, and now his fear
was soon that he would lose it all
and that would no way be his call.
He struggled daily with these things,
perhaps his thoughts had paper wings…
sad to say, that in his dreams, there was no respite.

The land wilted beneath the heat,
and now paddocks were bare.
Dark spirits from primordial times
were in each rock and tree.
He felt himself held in their arms.
Land – you belong to me…
and though clouds came to tantalize
not one drop fell from out the skies –
he saw grey cloud crevasses drifting in thin air.

He now recalled his father’s voice –
‘it rains at end of drought’.
He rubbed the sacred rain stone
on a boulder ancestors had known
and drew the dream-time serpents curves
in dust, the rituals he observed.
He threw his boomerang up high
to cut the clouds and let the sky
release the rain. Had they heard? An element of doubt.

That night he slept a dreamless sleep,
beaten and out of choices.
And in the distance thunder rolled,
the hot air cooled, the night turned cold.
The gum leaves rustled, turned their faces
as the storm fronts wind outpaces
rain that was falling straight down
to parched earths arms, dusty and brown;
he slept that night, soothed and calmed by spirit voices.

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

Ipswich City Council Award – 16-17 Years

Ipswich District Teacher Librarian Network Award – 8-10 Years

River 94.9 Award – 5-7 Years