Release type: Media Release


Celebrating Australia’s young poets


Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie
Minister for Regionalisation, Regional Communications and Regional Education
Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience

The winners of the Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards, Australia’s longest-running poetry competition, have been announced today in a virtual ceremony.

The annual national competition is in its 37th year and aims to promote interest in poetry and literature by providing a creative outlet for students. The Awards are dedicated to the iconic bush poet Dorothea Mackellar, who wrote Australia’s most quoted and beloved poem, My Country.

Minister Regional Education, Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie, said students around the country were challenged to put their imagination and creativity to the test, resulting in almost 7500 entries being received.

“Thank you to every student across the nation for taking part, and a special congratulations to all the winners and runners-up in each category,” Minister McKenzie said.

“The entries have been of a very high standard and highlighted all that Australia has to offer; our unique culture, Indigenous heritage and the everyday lived experience.

“That’s what makes poetry powerful. It allows each of us, even in difficult times, to use our creativity to express in writing what is important to us,” she said.

The winners of the 2021 Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards are:





Lower Primary

Dihansi Amarasinghe


Individual entry

Upper Primary

Allegra Clarke


All Saints Anglican School, Merrimac, QLD 

Learning Assistance Primary

Cooper King-Seach


Curlewis Public, NSW

David Maher Award

Paddy Harris


Rowena Public School, NSW

Kurrumbede Award

Eileen Murphy


Fairfax Public School,  Maules Creek NSW

Junior Secondary

Olivia Campbell


Presbyterian Ladies’ College, Melbourne

Senior Secondary

Pippa Attwell


Presbyterian Ladies’ College Peppermint Grove WA,

Learning Assistance Secondary

Steven Estephen and Matthew Al-Chakty


Able Education Australia, NSW


The Australian Government has provided a further $290,000 to the Dorothea Mackellar Memorial Society to support the annual poetry competition until 2025.

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