The aim of the Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards is to capture the imagination of school students across Australia, inspiring them with a passion for poetry and a love of country. It is a unique national project, giving Australia’s youth a voice and an opportunity to strive for excellence in literature.
The Awards are conducted by the Dorothea Mackellar Memorial Society Inc - their objective being to recognise the contribution Dorothea made to Australian literature and also to ignite a spirit of patriotism among Australia’s young people through the written verse. Click to see full Vision and Mission Statement.
The Dorothea Mackellar Memorial Society is based in Gunnedah, north-west NSW. It is here that the Mackellar family owned several properties with ‘Kurrumbede’ being the best known. Dorothea often visited the country properties and drew inspiration for her poems from these trips. For more information on the history of the awards, click here.
Our Committee is a dedicated group of individuals who meet regularly and are drawn from diverse backgrounds. Local councillors, farmers, retired businesspeople, artists, researchers, a writer, a published poet and a number of teachers, they give their time generously to keep the awards running.
Management Committee: John Lemon (President), Philippa Murray, Geraldine Austin, Anne Knight, Kay Benham, Deb and Harvey Stoneman, George Man, Colleen Howarth, Shirley Urquart, Marina Maas-Williams, Paul Williams, Rebecca Ryan, Kylie Smith.
Our Patrons: John Anderson, Gae Swain and Colleen Fuller.
The President: John Lemon, a farmer in another life, who is now involved in environmental research into soil, native vegetation and fauna. As a father and grandfather, he is aware of the creative talent that children can express through the written word. He enjoys family time, travel, rugby and long distance cycling but most of all he derives satisfaction from community involvement, especially the Dorothea Mackellar Memorial Society.
The Vice President: Philippa Murray, journalist, editor and part time veterinary practice manager, has been at the helm for four years. A mother with a love of literature, she is driven by a desire to see the country town in which she lives remembered for more than farms and mines.