A word from the judging panel

Category Grades 4-6. First and Second place.

The poetry judges were verry impressed with the standard of the entries.

What the judges had to say about the winning poem The Many Lives of Mr.Vase. W. Fish:

All of the judges agreed that this poem really connected to the theme of this year – “reimagine” by taking the reader on a journey across time and place. The entire panel quickly agreed on this winning entry.

“A beautifully crafted poem in which the variety of poetic devices help to set the atmosphere and assist the reader to visualise the many lives of Mr Fish…Personification, alliteration, imagery, and figurative language truly make this poem beautiful.”

“The story was filled with daring adventures and unlikely happenings. It sparked interest in the way a true poem should. The beautiful vase has a real story to tell.”

“I really liked how this poem has a unique storyline that engages the reader and keeps them entertained for the whole poem. The flow of the poem is amazing, and the connection to the Art Gallery of South Australia and Adelaide is splendid. The use of rhyme adds to the poem. The poet balanced it just right!


1st place winner:

Name:                  Dahlia Duigan

School:                 Littlehampton Primary School

Year:                      Year 6

Category:            Years 4-6

Title:                      The Many Lives of Mr. Vase W. Fish


Listen close, my dear human, as I have a tale to tell,
Of my past life beyond these walls, through heaven and through hell.
Let me take you back to where it all began,
When I was created by an artist in Japan
He gave me to an empress, who loved my koi décor
She placed me on an old armoire, when the earth began to roar
I rattled and I shook, along with jewels and more.
I found myself plop on the rug and rolled right out the door
Down the stairs and hallways, coated in pure gold,
Then knocked into a market stand where I was quickly sold.
For just a little yen, a family took me for a ride
They placed me on their table with pink blossoms inside
One day the cat was grumpy and they put me on his head,
He bolted for the river and my vase filled with dread.
I floated down the river then I sank down to the mud,
I became a home for fish, crustaceans and whole lot of crud.
Many years had passed and the river dried to dust.
When someone came and found me, they dug me out the crust.
He thought that I was special and me took me to his ship,
But the waves were wild and strong and the old guy lost his grip.
I plopped back in the water, through lightning and through thunder,
I didn’t know how far I’d travelled until I’d hit the great down under!
I got picked up out of the Murray and someone said “Come see ‘im”
This is where they took me, The S.A. Art Museum.

2nd place winner:

Digger – A Tail Reimagined – an image from the Army museum.

The judges agreed that “Digger – a Tail Reimagined” was able to transport the reader from the trenches of World War 1 back to Australia. We liked that it was the dog who “reimagined”! We also appreciated how different in style and language this poem was.

“I love the connection to history and the flow of this poem. The reader is taken on a journey, and the poet has conveyed their idea expertly.”

“This poem has been written with ‘factuality’ and as it follows a story-like structure it makes the reader think about it afterwards. The historical references made me love the concept.”

“I was able to learn a lot from this poem. It’s a story of true bravery and loyalty that we can and should all strive for. Digger is a hero!”

Name:                  Andrew Trinkle

School:                 Sunrise Christian School

Year:                      Year 6

Category:            Years 4-6

Title:                      Digger – A Tail Reimagined


First man to enlist, in the state of free settlers, Sergeant James Martin.

One day whilst walking, a straggly dog followed him, he named him Digger.

Took him back to camp, wove his way into troops’ hearts, found a place for him.

Smuggled ‘cross the world, to a dust hole called Cairo, far away from home.

Were told to move out, to Gallipoli he went, to fight Ottomans.

Think you’re gonna die, stuck wounded in no-man’s land, the dog would appear.

Digger saved men’s lives, then there was the big retreat, to war in west France.

Together in Ypres, they lived in muddy trenches, and then Poziers.

James came back to home, Digger the dog came home too, they survived the war!

Yet still wounds remained, sold postcards to buy treatment, for Digger’s gas burns.

But on Empire’s Day, poor Digger reimagined, fireworks are bullets.

Tried to jump the fence, re-imagining killed him, Rest In Peace Digger.