Enter the 2023 Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards

 Enter the Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards

This story was first published on Wednesday 21 June 2023. If you wish to use this content, please contact media@education.gov.au to confirm that the information is still current.

Children and young people in years K-12 are encouraged to enter Australia’s largest and oldest poetry competition for students. The Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards seek to capture the imaginations of school students across Australia, inspiring them to express their thoughts and feelings through poetry in their pursuit of literary excellence.

Entry details

Students are encouraged to be inspired by the 2023 optional theme ‘The Winding Road’. There’s an opportunity to win cash prizes, trophies, book vouchers, and publication in the annual anthology. Every student is recognised with a participation certificate.

Helpful learning resources are available to assist students and the previous years’ themes and winning entries can also be accessed.

Entries close on 30 June 2023. Results will be announced during early September. Visit the Dorothea Mackellar Memorial Society’s website for full details on how to enter.

Optional theme for 2023

‘The Winding Road’ was chosen as the optional theme by the Awards’ co-founder Anne Bell after she travelled on a recent train trip home to Gunnedah. Anne surveyed the highs and flats of the landscape from her window seat, watching as roads transformed to watercourses. The theme encourages entrants to think about their own journeys, the paths they always take, and sometimes about the route less travelled.

About the poetry of Dorothea Mackellar

The first draft of what was to become Australia’s most quoted and best loved poem, My Country, was written by Dorothea at age 19 in England at a time when she was feeling homesick. Published in the London Spectator under the title Core of My Heart in 1908, Dorothea was never quite content with the verses. She wrote and re-wrote the poem several times after returning to Australia. During 1910 – 1920 Dorothea wrote prolifically. 1913 saw a novel Outlaw’s Luck and with Ruth Bedford, a childhood friend, she wrote two other novels, The Little Blue Devil (1912) and Two’s Company (1914).

More information

Entries close on 30 June 2023. Visit the Dorothea Mackellar Memorial Society’s website for more information.

Correct at time of publication.