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

Grindle Road by Brett Dionysius (First Prize)

A Child Unafraid by Gill Jewell (Second Prize)

A d’Arcy Doyle Painting by Leonie Parker (Third Prize)

The Kulning Song by Louisa Janke (Highly Commended)

Beyond those peaks in smog filled skies,
was an embittered world where war was fought,
as men too powerful called for lads
At 15 you held my hand with promises,
squeezing fingers a little too tight and my smile didn’t waver
We spent lost hours to eucalypt-hazed mountains
Like your eyes, they were an ever-changing shade of blue
At night, the stars would reflect in those pools,
a surface shivering with the skimming of a breeze,
but really it was because you could still hear
Menzie’s words on the wireless
Once we were glorious under an artist’s sky,
that the disbelievers still preached those clouds as white,
but we knew better, that hidden amongst were
those hues of cobalt, crimson, raw sienna
You said that it belonged to us,
proclaiming that nothing could break those walls we’d built
In ’42 on the old swing seat that squeaked,
you told me you were going to fight for king and country
Brave like words I vowed, stuck to that balmy summer night
But alone in my room, a pillow swallowed up silent tears
and the heavy moon as my only witness, I had broken it
I marched angered prayers to that silver disc in the sky,
to the gods, whatever deity may be listening,
of sacrificial exchanges for your safe return back to me
On the morning that you left, somehow the uniform made you taller
and it filled the space between us, leaving little room for words
With your kit bag and a photograph of me,
you went courageous down the road, turning once to smile widely
But I didn’t believe you, nor the letters you’d send home
The ebb and flow of a year passed on the back of a stubborn bull
but it had rained, the long grasses tinged with green
and I made a bed on fallowed ground, it’d been a while
since we’d heard from you
When still you didn’t write, I whispered into the ears
of sitting giants to ask the clouds what they could foresee
I stopped searching for signs, when once I rounded the bend
and a fox with gizzards strewn, lay sleep like on the road
Night terrors pierced my dreams then
of those great ghost gums in morning’s mist,
with their colossal hands clawing at an inflamed sky,
like soldier boys for one last breath
So I made bonfires of old tree limbs,
standing close, because nothing seemed to warm me
When we had torn through childhood’s membrane
leaving behind skidded knees, and a mummified toad
for those old farm sheds with their rust coloured roofs,
against a patchwork landscape that hid us within
And we were reborn, you pressed hard against me,
wholly consumed by the other as we stitched together new cloth,
that we didn’t see the snake hanging from the rafters
It’s where first in gaping disbelief, I ran to
when your broken father gave me broken news
and I birthed a crippling pain that bent me over,
toppling into a well so deep, there was no measure
but in life’s monotony, and keeping up the war efforts
I crawled out one day and by then I’d stopped speaking of you
as those footprints you left us, faded with the rain
Now the ring I twist on my finger belongs to another
and I’ll not find you in the smiles of my children
I left behind those wasted promises, discarded on branches
and the landscape and sky that gave us breath
Now they’ve become photographs in old gnarled hands
But when sleep comes, again there is that girl of 17
calling to those blue, blue mountains in ancient kulning song.

Pot Pourri and Bar Room Roses by Maureen Clifford (Highly Commended)

A Time to Dance, a Time to Mourn by Sue Osborn (Highly Commended)

A Foot Soldier’s Lament by Gill Jewell (Highly Commended)

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