Release type: Media Release


Young Australian poets follow in the footsteps of renowned bush poet Dorothea Mackellar


The Hon Andrew Gee MP
Minister for Decentralisation and Regional Education
Minister Assisting the Minister for Trade and Investment

Today Australia’s up and coming young poets were recognised at one of the nation’s oldest and most iconic poetry competitions, the Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards.

The awards, in honour of renowned country poet Dorothea Mackellar, offer young Australian’s a unique and creative way to express themselves and make sense of the world around them.

The Minister for Regional Education, Andrew Gee said this year’s competition was fierce, with over 7,650 primary and secondary school students, from the city to country Australia, taking up the literacy challenge.

“It’s been a difficult year for young Australian’s, with the bushfires, drought and now the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting many aspects of their everyday life,” Minister Gee said.

“In these challenging times, it has never been more important to stop, relax and unwind – and that is exactly what poetry offers.

“Whether just like a young Dorothea Mackellar, you are stuck overseas homesick for country Australia’s sweeping plains and ragged mountain ranges or in isolation in the inner city suburbs of Melbourne – poetry can offer both refuge and enjoyment. 

“It is crucial that we continue to support and inspire our next generation of writers through initiatives like the Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards.

“That is why the Australian Government has today announced it will provide an additional $290,000 in funding to support the Dorothea Mackellar Memorial Society and Poetry Awards over the next five years.

“This funding will help to keep Dorothea Mackellar’s poetry legacy alive and will provide young Australians with an important voice through poetry for years to come. 

“Congratulations to all of this year’s award winners and the runners up. Poetry forms a vital part of Australia’s unique culture, and I encourage you to continue to pursue your passion for the pursuit of literacy excellence.”

The winners of the 2020 Dorothea Mackellar Poetry awards are:





Lower Primary

Nina Cordaro


All Hallows Catholic Primary School

Upper Primary

Iris Jiang


Cherrybrook Public School

Learning Assistance Primary

Curtis Giang


Redeemer Baptist School

David Maher Award

Max Shearer


Rowena Public School

Junior Secondary

Ivy Downes


Individual Entry

Senior Secondary

Theo Harkin


Hobart College

Learning Assistance Secondary

Lola Wang


Redeemer Baptist School