Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said entries were now open for the 2016 Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards, Australia’s oldest and largest poetry competition for school aged children.

“The Dorothea Mackellar Awards are a great opportunity for students to express themselves through poetry and to explore a form of creativity and writing that can ignite the imagination and strengthen literacy skills,” Minister Birmingham said.

“The competition is a highlight of National Literacy and Numeracy Week in September and I encourage all students to have a go.”

Minister Birmingham said the collaborative but very basic attempts at poetry within his office should give heart to students who might worry they lack the skill of the craft:

“Entries can now be submitted,
For work well-acquitted,
If you can strike the right chords,
In the Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards.

“Students can enter, 
Even if only an experimenter,
There’s fifty thousand dollars,
To reward our budding scholars.

“‘Waiting’ is this year’s theme,
And it should encourage you to dream,
We had 10,000 submissions in 2015,
More this year we aim to glean.

“The winners will be declared in Literacy and Numeracy Week,
And the fanfare will be far from meek,
There’s a trophy and cash prizes,
And likely a few other surprises.”

Entries close on 30 June 2016 and the winners will be announced on 2 September 2016 at the national Presentation Ceremony in Gunnedah, NSW.

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