Release type: Media Release


National Literacy & Numeracy Week: Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards — 2009 Winners


Senator the Hon Mark Arbib
Minister for Employment Participation
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Government Service Delivery

Acting Minister for Education, Senator Mark Arbib, today announced the winners and runners-up of the 2009 Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards.

The announcement of Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards marks the end of National Literacy and Numeracy Week.

The Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards is a highly valued event within National Literacy and Numeracy Week, helping students to develop key literacy skills while exploring the rich world of poetry.

Now in its 25th year, the Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards is one of the largest and most respected poetry competitions for school students in Australia.

The awards are hosted by the Dorothea Mackellar Memorial Society with funding support from the Australian Government.

The Awards seek to inspire students to express their thoughts creatively through poetry writing, while celebrating the legendary work of Dorothea Mackellar—author of the famous Australian poem ‘My Country’.

This year’s theme,Searching for Stars, coincided with the International Year of Astronomy.

Students responded to the topic with poems relating to outer space, dreams, heroes and role models, film and television stars.

Entries this year totalled 6 660 and were received from over 460 schools across the country.

The Awards are a unique national event, giving Australia’s young people a voice and an opportunity to strive for excellence in literature.

The winners and runners up were announced at a National Presentation Ceremony in Gunnedah, New South Wales. A list of winners and runners-up is provided below.

To find out more about the Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards visit:

For more information on National Literacy and Numeracy Week 2009 visit:

The winners of the Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards for 2009 are:

Senior Secondary:Sophie Clark, Elizabeth College TASRunner-up: Saba Vayani-Lai, Glenwood High School NSW

Lower Secondary:Raaisa Islam, Presbyterian Ladies' College VICRunner-up: Emma Dell, Gosford High School NSW

Upper Primary:Robin Allsopp, Chapel Hill State School QLDRunner-up: Grace Stanhope, Valentine Public School NSW

Lower Primary:Charlie Kairaitis, Arden Anglican School NSWRunner up: Tryphina Reu, Bradshaw Primary School NT

Learning Assistance Secondary:Drago Kalinic, Katherine School of the Air NTRunner-up: Joshua Wood, Redeemer Baptist School NSW

Learning Assistance Primary: Jayden Wilson, Katherine School of the Air NTRunner-up: Bettina Liang, Redeemer Baptist School NSW

2013 Centenary of Canberra Award:Saba Vayani-Lai, Glenwood High School NSWRunner-up: Jack Burnham, Caloundra Christian College QLD

Community Relations Commission (NSW) Award:Jack Burnham, Caloundra Christian College QLD

Schools Award:Katherine School of the Air NT The major supporter of the Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards is the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. Other supporters include Gunnedah Shire Council, QantasLink, BHP Billiton Caroona Coal Project, Paul Ramsey Foundation, Canberra Centenary, Whitehaven Coal Limited, Children’s Book Council of Australia, Hachette Children’s Books, Fremantle Press, University of Queensland Press, Franklin Electronic Publishers, 2MO1080AM Gunnedah, Little Hare Books and the NSW Community Relations Commission.