“I sit by this pool, the surface glistening,
My ancestors are like an ecosystem,
with rivers flowing down, connecting into one body of water.
Water 5 billion years old,
Water that sustains life on the home we share
Soaked deep in the soil we reside on
It is what connects us all
The blood of our earth.”
This the opening stanza of Year 9 student Oliver Johnson’s poem – “Water is my culture, water is my potential” – which was shortlisted in the 2023 Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards.
Oliver was among several Year 9 students whose poems were recognised by the judges for their use of language in ‘fresh, surprising and original ways.’ The poems were composed as part of the English program which challenged students to write about identity.
Over 2000 entries were received in the secondary section of the Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards – which is Australia’s longest-running annual poetry competition for school students. It is named in honour of Dorothea Mackellar whose poem “My Country’ holds perhaps one of the most famous lines in Australian poetry – “I love a sunburnt country, A land of sweeping plains…”
Congratulations to the following students for their wonderful words:
Oliver Johnson – short listed; Christiano Haddad – highly commended; Alfred Hutton – highly commended; Harrison Macdonald – highly commended; Oliver Hasham – commended;
Asher Percival – commended; Christian Yeo – commended.
Assistant Head of English