Back To Competition Winners

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

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

Legacy of a Fool by Catherine Lee (First Prize)

Weapon of Words by Shelley Hansen (Second Prize)

Bobby by Tom McIlveen (Third Prize)

How Bluey and Me Joined the Cooee March by Val Wallace (Highly Commended)

We’d been fencin’ there for ages – jist me ol’ mate Blue and me.
The storm last night ‘ad surely left its mark.
So, we both ‘ad made our minds up then, to stop and ‘ave some tea,
when me old Black Kelpie, Lightnin’, then lets out a yappin’ bark.

“What’s troublin ’ you, Old, Boy?” I asks – an’ gives is ‘ead a rub.
‘e growls and nudges closely at me feet.
“e musta ‘eard a rabbit or some dingo after grub.”
I kneels down by the burnin’ logs, to soak up welcome ‘eat.

We stares into the fire as the Billy starts to boil.
No gabbin’ nor much gossip ‘tween us two.
We‘d been good mates forever, thru’ the spare times and the toil.
No need for extra chitchat – we instinctively jist knew

About the other’s feelins – it was like a second sense.
We could read the other like an open book.
I could tell if Blue was ‘appy or per’aps a little tense.
An’ ‘e only took a minute workin’ out, if I was crook.

Now we sat there in our silence as the grey smoke slowly rose.
It was then the ol’ Dog pricked ‘is ears an’ ‘owled.
The peace ‘ad now been broken – so uncommon I suppose.
I jist scratched me ‘ead as Lightnin’ quickly rose an’ fiercely scowled.

“What was that?” me exclamation, as I quizzed me ol’ mate Bluey.  
‘e shrugs ‘is shoulders. “Thought you mighta knew.
Sounds like a mob of Drovers with the bushmen’s call of “COOEE”.
“Ya right ya know. – it’s ‘Itchens, and ‘is War recruitment crew.”

“Did ya ever give a thought,” says ‘e “of answerin’ the call?
To tell the truth, I, ‘adn’t paid much ‘eed,
until sittin’ out ‘ere ‘earin’ now them “COOEES”, after all,
we’d be a coupla bludgers, not to join Australia’s need.”

“I ‘afta tell ya Bluey, I‘d bet money you’d be keen.
We could ‘ave a fine adventure while we’re there.
It‘ll be a chance to visit all those countries we ain’t seen.
An’ the two of us I’ll wager, we would make a likely pair.”

“Yeah! ’ An’ I’ve ‘eard that young Tom Turvey’s joined. Les Greenleafs signed up too.
This March will be the pride of all the Land.
We’ll show the ‘ole Australia , what we Cooee Lads can do.
A proudly steadfast, staunch and trusty, loyal, motley Band.”

“An’ jist fancy ‘ow so proud of us, our families will be.
We could save this mighty Nation from the foe.
We could all become sich ‘eroes, an’ The Cooees probably
will show ‘em all our Country Skills that City blokes don’t know.”

So, what ‘appened next is ‘ist’ry an’ I’ll ‘ave no need to tell
what the futcher ‘eld in store for Blue and me.
‘cause that battle that we Cooees fought ; A journey into ‘ell.
Bluey copped it. – Not the end we two ‘ad figured it would be.

There’s an ‘ero up in ‘eaven but ‘e’s surely not alone
’e’s with ‘is fellow, fallen ‘ero mates.
To be sure (I’ll not forget ‘im.) ‘e’s a standout on ‘is own.
An’ I know ‘e’ll wait there for me, till I reach them Pearly Gates.

Sometimes I wish we’d never ‘eard that Cooee call back then,
in Gilgandra where the “Cooee March “ began.
But I’ll tell ya there’ll be braggin ’ when we meet up once again,
when we‘ll swap old war time stories.
Yes! Each one an’ ev’ry ‘Itchen’s Cooee Man.

The Harder Road by Kay Gorring (Highly Commended)

Far From Home by David Campbell (Highly Commended)

Demons and Lambs by Tom McIlveen (Highly Commended)

Harbour of Lost Dreams by Catherine Lee (Highly Commended)

Ipswich City Council Award – 16-17 Years

Ipswich District Teacher Librarian Network Award – 8-10 Years

River 94.9 Award – 5-7 Years