Four students from the Parkes electorate have been announced as winners of Australia’s annual Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards during a special virtual ceremony today.
Gunnedah High School student Holly Munday, 14, took out the Kurrumbede Award (Secondary) for her poem Killers of the Night; 11-year-old Eileen Murphy from Fairfax Public School at Maules Creek was named the winner of the Kurrumbede Award (Primary) for her poem Namoi Menagerie; Cooper King-Seach, 11, from Curlewis Public School won the Learning Assistance Primary category for his poem My Aboriginal Teacher; and Rowena Public School student Paddy Harris received the David Maher Award for Small School for his poem Planting.
Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton said Holly, Eileen, Cooper and Paddy were chosen as winners out of more than 7,000 entries from across the country.
“It is truly inspiring to see the talented young poets that are discovered every year as part of the poetry competition, and I’m thrilled that this year students from the Parkes electorate dominated, taking out four of the 12 awards on offer,” Mr Coulton said.
“On behalf of the Parkes electorate, I’d like to congratulate Holly, Eileen, Cooper and Paddy on this exceptional achievement and every student in the region who took part in this year’s competition.
“It’s wonderful to see local students using their passion and creativity to follow in the footsteps of Dorothea Mackellar, the iconic bush poet who wrote Australia’s most quoted and beloved poem, My Country.”
The annual national competition is in its 37th year and aims to promote interest in poetry and literature by providing a creative outlet for students.
Minister for Regionalisation, Regional Communications and Regional Education Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie said the competition aims to spark an interest in literature by incentivising students to explore their creativity through poetry.
“Poetry and writing are important creative outlets for young Australians that can help spark a keen interest in literature and support the development of important literacy skills,” Minister McKenzie said.
“This is why the Government has allocated $290,000 to the Dorothea Mackellar Memorial Society to continue the nation’s oldest poetry competition through to 2025.
“Congratulations to every student who participated in this year’s Awards and I hope more students are inspired to take part again next year.”
Visit www.dorothea.com.au for more information and a list of the 2021 winners and runners-up.