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River 94.9 Award – 5-7 Years

Metro Hotel Ipswich International Award – Open Age Bush Poetry

Picture Ipswich Theme Awards

Ipswich Poetry Feast Encouragement Awards

2018 Overall Winner & recipient of the Babies of Walloon bronze statuette

Rosewood Green Award – Open Age Local Poets

Joy Chambers & Reg Grundy Award – Open Age Other Poetry

Ipswich City Council Award – 16-17 Years

Queensland Times Award- 14-15 Years

Broderick Family Award – 11-13 Years

An Ethical Irony by Michael Swift (Equal First Prize)

The Mansion That Time Forgot by Equal First Prize (Grace Longhi)

Technology Nation by Emma Chambers (Second Prize)

The Tanami by Rafaela Southon (Third Prize)

I watch the flocks of native birds take flight,
high above me
Soaring towards the painted Western sky
And wish it were me making my way home.
But the desert is wide and vast and empty
And the heat taunts me with visions of cool waters
Around a beautiful billabong,
where birds and animals seek respite
Amongst the coolibahs and deep ferns.
The deep crevices and fissures
Within the ancient rock formations
Sheltering against the relentless heat
Forty five degrees.

But there is no shelter for me,
Alone, amidst the vast, lonely spaces
Of the great Tanami Desert.
Stretching interminably across time and space
An ancient land.
Endless horizons of sweat and sparse spinifex
And rocky hills, where the scorpion and snake reside.
Oh, there are water holes in this vast wilderness
Secret rock holes full of sweet water
To drink. And survive. And never die.

But, I cannot find the water holes neither can I locate the billabongs.
like the ancient Kukatja, Tjurabalan and Walpiri peoples
of this land, Chanamee
Those who knew the stories and the tracks
That made the difference between life and death.
And could read the signs to safety and family
And the warmth of shared campfires
Under a million glistening stars.
At one with the Heavens.

My family is gone.
The wild dogs howl in the darkness.
Silent midnight sands
gently cover the body of my father.
A lonely burial for a man
entombed in a shattered aircraft.
And Help was late in her coming,
And so I set off, foolishly.
Against all good sense and advice
And everything he had ever taught me.
But I couldn’t stay the loneliness crept up on me as
The haunting winds called his name and so into the desert
I wandered, vaguely off into the unforgiving desert
Running away putting all of my trust into hoping
That Destiny would save me.

So once again I turn my face to the waning afternoon light
Towards the flocks of birds that race towards the gently sinking sun
Pinks and oranges light the sky in a beatific vision
But soon it will again be night, and cold
And I will still be alone
And tomorrow, with the rising of the sun,
I must start again.
To find a place of rest
Until Help and Destiny come find me
And deliver me home.

The Door on The 3rd Floor by Gabriella Gigliotti (Highly Commended)

If Only You Knew by Disha Raval (Highly Commended)

Sea Change by Hannah Barrie (Highly Commended)

Surfing on Waikiki Beach by Alexandra Willcock (Highly Commended)

Humanty by Harmony-tree Hansen (Highly Commended)

The Broken-Hearted by Mysheka Field (Highly Commended)

Ipswich District Teacher Librarian Network Award – 8-10 Years