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)

She is driving in and parking, well aware she should be sparking
to commence a Monday morning at her office job once more.
But she’s sitting and she’s shaking, and a beady sweat is breaking
on her brow, as once again she contemplates what lies in store.

It is not the work she’s fearing, nor the challenges appearing
that are set by her Department, or at customer request.
She’s no novice to be frightened when a deadline date is heightened,
and she juggles the priorities with skills that are the best.

Her assistance with exporting finance data and reporting
was the catalyst that led to the destruction of her peace.
It began one budget meeting, with her supervisor seating
her adjacent to himself, and drawing out her expertise.

So, as well as she was able, she addressed the meeting table
and her polished presentation was the best that they had seen.
So Directors recommended that an offer be extended
to continue her involvement in a month-by-month routine.

Soon she noticed innuendo that increased in a crescendo
that implied she was dishonest in her pathway to advance.
Someone else had done some “courses” (said suspicious unnamed “sources”)
and he felt he should have been the one rewarded with this chance.

Then what started as a grumble grew to be an angry rumble
as the colleague with the sense of “wrong” drew others to his side.
Former loyalties were broken, and diverse opinions spoken
and efficiency was lessened as a chasm opened wide.

Then her files became affected and she suddenly suspected
that her work was being sabotaged to undermine her name.
She attempted to ignore it, but increasingly was sure it
was arriving at a point where it no longer was a game.

She believed she must report it, so she tentatively brought it
to the notice of the personnel in charge of such a case.
But they didn’t quite believe her, made no effort to reprieve her –
much preferring to avoid a confrontation face-to-face.

Some had offered to support her, but experience had taught her
that when asked to make a statement, most decline to be involved
in such difficult discussions that might lead to repercussions.
So she knew that she was on her own to get this problem solved.

So she tried initiation of a reconciliation,
but instead of bridging barriers, results were even worse
as the taunting turned malicious, and abuse became quite vicious
and her personal integrity was slandered with a curse.

People dropped their gaze around her, no more friendship to surround her
as the fear of his reprisal drew the other staff away.
As he did his best to shame her, soon the boss began to blame her
and expected her to sort the situation – come what may!

Now she knows that she is beaten – and her confidence is eaten
up by fear of what is coming, what he’s planning, what he’s done.
She has no supporting voices; has been robbed of all her choices,
so she writes her resignation – knowing, sadly, that he’s won.

But the torment hasn’t ended, for her doctor’s recommended
that she take the case to court to get some justice for her pain.
He has urged her to embrace it, but she simply cannot face it –
can’t endure protracted torture to relive it all again.

She is just one more statistic as the victim of sadistic
acts of bullying that permeate the constant daily grind.
Once commended for endeavour, now she walks the street, forever
searching aimlessly for something that she doesn’t hope to find.

Sticks and stones may cause abrasion, but the flaw in this equation
is the statement (often quoted) that a word can do no harm.
Self-esteem is devastated when a victim is berated,
for a word can wound the spirit, and destroy the inner calm.

The behaviour of a vulture doesn’t fit our Aussie culture —
the philosophy of Fair Go, Mate! has kept us standing tall.
So we can’t excuse a bully. There’s no reason (wild or woolly)
for the use of words as weapons which may cause a person’s fall.

Bobby by Tom McIlveen (Third Prize)

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

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