Barnaby Joyce congratulates Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Award winners

08 Sep 2015


FEDERAL Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce has congratulated the winners of the 2015 Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards, from schools right across Australia.


Mr Joyce who attended the recent national presentation ceremony in Gunnedah’s Civic Theatre said the Awards offered students of all ages from schools throughout Australia an opportunity to explore and engage with poetry.


Mr Joyce praised the quality of this year’s entries and said the Awards are an important part of National Literacy and Numeracy Week and this year attracted nearly 10,000 entries from 655 schools throughout Australia.


He also took the opportunity to welcome three new patrons for the Award, including Margaret White AO, former Judge, Qld Court of Appeals, Mark Vaile AO, Chairman Whitehaven Coal and Professor Peter Shergold AC, Chancellor Uni Western Sydney


“I would like to congratulate all nine winners of the 31st Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards, including Aryanne Caminschi from St Mary's Anglican Girls' School (Karrinyup, WA) whose poem Riverstone was the winner in the senior secondary category, and Lucia Gelonesi from SCEGGS (Darlinghurst, NSW) whose poem Meeting Helen Keller was the winner in the upper primary category.


“My congratulations also go to St Stephen’s Primary School (Tapping, WA), for winning The Sheelah Baxter Award for Primary Schools, and to Cammeraygal High School (Crows Nest, NSW) for receiving the Secondary Schools’ Award.


Mr Joyce also congratulated the Dorothea Mackellar Memorial Society, led by Jenny Farquhar, for their passion and hard work in ensuring the success of the Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards.”


“Dorothea Mackellar’s reflections on this area, but made from another country were the exercise of spirit, sentiment and the exercise of sadness.


“And in this reflection she gave us one of the great poems of Australia,” he said.


The Australian Government provided $50,000 to the Dorothea Mackellar Memorial Society to support the Awards in 2015.


He said the Awards were open to students from Foundation to Year 12 and encourages students to explore their creativity through poetry, as inspired by one of Australia’s great poets.


National Literacy and Numeracy Week is part of the Australian Government’s Students First approach, focussing on four key areas that will make a difference to students:

·         Teacher quality

·         School autonomy

·         Parental engagement

·         Strengthening the curriculum.


For further information about National Literacy and Numeracy Week, visit


For more information on the Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards, including a list of winners, see


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