2020 Awards

In a most unusual year, the Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards were still able to adapt and push through to captivate a nation of young poets. Not only did we survive, but we also beat last year’s entry numbers with a whopping 7,600 submissions!

Normally, winners and their families would be flown to Gunnedah to be presented with their prizes, however, this year the Awards came to them. They each put an enormous amount of effort into supplying us with a video reciting their poems and saying what winning their award means to them.

The Society engaged a professional film crew to capture our whole 2020 Presentation Ceremony where we hear from the President, Judges, Ministers of Education, Patrons, Winners and our Project Officer. It’s a true delight to watch and we encourage you to watch it to understand how important poetry is, and the breadth of Australia we reach with this national competition. See it here: www.dorothea.com.au/presentation-ceremony

The Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards wishes to thank all the teachers, students and parents who submitted poetry this year, as well as the sponsors, special guests and VIP's who make this whole competition possible.

Click on the 2020 poster on the right to see the 2020 Presentation Booklet!

We look forward to seeing next year's entries!


Congratulations to the below students who captivated the judges with their imagination and creativity.

Also worth mentioning are the students who received a Commended, Highly-Commended or Shortlisted poem. Our judges gave special feedback for each one. Our Project Officer, Brittany, has put together a document containing a list of the poems, as well as the judges’ comments.

Click here to see the document.

The 2020 anthology is available to pre-order now. We also offer a digital version to reduce paper wastage. Orders are expected to be sent in October-November.

See order form here.

Our winners and runners-up for this year are as follows:



Poem & Judges' Comments

Lower Primary

Nina Cordaro

This is a Wonderful World

Lower Primary
Runner Up

Adele Scully

Savour the Moment

Upper Primary

Iris Jiang


Upper Primary
Runner Up

Dorian Ndongo-Empesa


Assisted Learning Primary

Curtis Giang

Throw, Bounce, Fetch

Assisted Learning Primary
Runner Up

Larissa Ma


David Maher Award for Small Schools Winner

Max Shearer


Kurrumbede Award Winner

Evie Watt


Junior Secondary

Ivy Downes


Junior Secondary
Runner Up

Janice Han

Poem 1

Senior Secondary

Theo Harkin


Senior Secondary
Runner Up

Janiru Liyanage

My mother won’t let me write about home

Assisted Learning Secondary

Lola Wang


Assisted Learning Secondary
Runner Up

Adrian Burns

Running Wild Tomorrow

Schools' Award


Redeemer Baptist School, North Parramatta NSW


Schools’ Award


Darwin Middle School, Parap NT



Previous Winners

        2018 Poetry Awards2017 Poetry Awards Booklet2016 Awards Booklet2015 Poetry Awards Booklet2014 Dorothea Poetry Awards2013 Dorothea Poetry Awards2012 Dorothea Poetry Awards2012 Dorothea Poetry Awards2010 Dorothea Poetry Awards2009 Dorothea Poetry Awards

Click year below to view poetry from earlier competitions.

20042005200620072008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014