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2019 Overall Winner & recipient of the Babies of Walloon bronze statuette

Ipswich Poetry Feast Encouragement Awards

Picture Ipswich Awards – Open Age

Ipswich City Council Awards Open Age – Local Poets

Joy Chambers & Reg Grundy Awards Open Age – Other Poetry

Ipswich Poetry Feast Awards Open Age – Bush Poetry

Kelly's Corner by Heather Knight (1st)

Australis in Extremis by Catherine Lee (2nd)

A Simple Epitaph by Tom McIlveen (3rd)

Mallee Farmer by Max Merckenschlager (Highly Commended)

From Gallipoli with Love by Tom McILveen (Highly Commended)

Song of the Water-Lilies by Max Merckenschlager (Highly Commended)

Walk a Mile in Our Shoes! by David Campbell (Highly Commended)

With a hole in my pocket where money should be,
and some ragged old trousers worn down at the knee,
I’ll be first in the line when there’s work to be done,
for when fate brings you down there’s a fight to be won.

It is not much I want, just an ongoing job,
and the chance to succeed as I make a few bob
so the wife and the kids can have something to eat
as we try to find ways to get back on our feet.

Now the bank is foreclosing on all that we had
there are tough times ahead as the good turns to bad,
for there’s not much in town and the city’s too far,
and besides, we’re all happy right here where we are!

When you’ve spent all your days working hard on the land
it gets into your blood, and you can’t understand
when some shiny-suit office-type tries to allay
all your fears with some waffle, then waves you away.

In the skin of my hands there are decades of toil,
 for the blisters and dirt tell the stories of soil
that was worked by my father, and his before that,
and I’m damned if I’ll grovel to some bureaucrat!

This is all that we know, it’s our lifeblood, our heart,
yet decisions by others will tear it apart
if we can’t find a window that offers some light
as a beacon to follow through threatening night.

As I stand at the top of the hill and look down
at the homestead below me, I can’t help but frown
at the forces that gather and bring you so low
that you struggle to see any clear way to go.

When the weather’s extremes, be they flood, fire, or drought,
cut a swathe through your land then you’re left full of doubt —
were we ever intended to live way out here
where the forces of nature can be so severe?

Yet that thought is dismissed just as soon as it’s born
 as a sign of defeat and the object of scorn,
for this land is the life we have known until now,
and the reason I’m standing here making this vow.

In the dark days ahead we’ll do all that we can
to survive through this setback and work out a plan,
 for no matter the bridges that have to be crossed
we’ll return to the home that for now we have lost.

In an area shattered by anguish and pain
there are many who’ve gone that we’ll not see again,
and the streets of our town see some pitiful scenes
as a few who’ve remained learn what poverty means.

Where’s the justice, the fairness, the government aid,
the belief in the sacrifice that we have made|
to ensure that our nation is properly fed
and our kids don’t go hungry each night to their bed?

Our community’s dying, the young ones have gone,
for they can’t see a future worth building upon
as the farmland reverts to the gidgee and dust,
with the dams cracked and dry while the tanks turn to rust.

Mother Nature is fickle/obeying no rules,
and if some don’t respect her she’ll treat them as fools,
but out here there are lessons we learned long ago —
in the turn of the seasons it’s always been so.

What we need is compassion, goodwill, and some time,
and not feeling that we have committed a crime
as the suits brandish papers and preach on the law
while they’re mouthing excuses and shutting the door.

For you can’t kill a lifestyle with strokes of a pen
in a skyscraper office where ignorant men
wash their hands of all guilt and suggestions of blame
while dismissing your hopes and your dreams and your name.

There are families broken by what’s happened here,
and the suicide toll has been growing each year,
so it’s time to hit back, standing firm side by side,
while defending our heritage, honour, and pride.

Let the battle commence, we will never give in,
we will fight this together, determined to win,
for we don’t have a choice, there is too much to lose,
and if you can’t see why — walk a mile in our shoes!

Ipswich City Council Award – 16-17 Years

Queensland Times Award- 14-15 Years

Broderick Family Awards 11-13 Years

Ipswich District Teacher Librarian Network Award – 8-10 Years

River 94.9 Award – 5-7 Years