Since 1984, the Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards, a national poetry competition for school-aged children, has offered teachers a focused and engaging way for students to explore and produce poetry.
The 2022 Awards are open for entries from 1 March until 30 June 2022.
The largest poetry competition of its type in Australia, the Awards are run by the Dorothea Mackellar Memorial Society in Gunnedah, NSW. Since their inception, the Awards have grown from 300 entries to thousands of entries each year from students across the nation. In 2021 there were 7,500 entries from across Australia.
The competition aims to lift the profile of poetry based on the Literature strand of the Australian Curriculum: English and to ensure broad representation of schools participating in poetry. It seeks to capture the imaginations of school students across Australia, to express their thoughts and feelings through the medium of poetry in their pursuit of literary excellence.
The standard of entries year after year is consistently high with the winning poems always leaving a lasting impression on the judges. Entries from both primary and secondary students illustrate an awareness and understanding of the events and issues that have impacted young Australians over the decades.
The Australian Government has funded the Awards since 2004. The Department of Education, Skills and Employment is contributing $290,000 to support the competition from 2021-22 to 2025-26.
To participate, students must be an Australian primary or secondary school-aged student and submit a poem for consideration by the Awards judging panel before 30 June 2022. There are a range of categories to enter and prizes to be won.
For the 2022 competition the Society has chosen the optional theme ‘In My Opinion’ to encourage young poets to write creatively and persuasively about the issues that affect them. For more information about the Awards go to the Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards website.