Dorothea Mackellar 2020 award winners announced

The winners of Australia’s annual Dorothea Mackellar poetry competition for school students were announced on 4 September 2020 at a special online ceremony, opened by Minister for Decentralisation and Regional Education, Andrew Gee.

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The national awards celebrate the work of Australia’s own Dorothea Mackellar, one of Australia’s best-loved bush poets, with her most famous poem ‘My Country’ written at age 19, after a bout of homesickness while travelling overseas. The awards give young people from across the country an opportunity to express themselves through poetry.

Submissions for the 2020 Poetry Awards opened on 1 March 2020 and closed on 30 June 2020 with an optional theme of ‘We Used to Live There’. This year’s competition received 7650 entries with a high standard of work across all categories.

From these entries the 2020 winners are:

Category Name Age School State
Lower Primary Nina Cordaro 8 All Hallows Catholic Primary School NSW
Upper Primary Iris Jiang 11 Cherrybrook Public School NSW
Learning Assistance Primary Curtis Giang 11 Redeemer Baptist School NSW
David Maher Award Max Shearer 11 Rowena Public School NSW
Junior Secondary Ivy Downes 13 Individual Entry NSW
Senior Secondary Theo Harkin 16 Hobart College TAS
Learning Assistance Secondary Lola Wang 13 Redeemer Baptist School NSW

The awards are now in their 36th consecutive year and are administered by the Dorothea Mackellar Memorial Society. As part of the award ceremony Minister Andrew Gee also announced the Australian Government will continue to help fund the competition with an additional $290,000 committed to the awards through to 2026.

Visit Dorothea Mackellar poetry awards page for more information on the awards and the full list of 2020 winners and finalists.