"Students and teachers at Darwin Middle School should be very proud of winning this prestigious national accolade which underscores the excellent engagement, talent, and commitment of the large number of those who were involved. It’s pleasing to see students’ high levels of enthusiasm and enjoyment in creating and sharing their original poems. They are developing a lifelong appreciation for literature and this award will inspire students to continue to achieve and express themselves in creative ways."
-Nickolaos Miaris – Senior Teacher English and Humanities at Darwin Middle School (Secondary Schools' Winner 2020)
"Winning the Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Award for my age division has been one of the best events of my life. It's a cliche, but to win this award truly means the world to me, as a writer, student and human being. Writing is an incredible joy in itself but it feels amazing to be recognised for something I'm passionate about, something I hope to share with the world, and this competition has made me feel like that's possible. Thank you so much, to everyone involved in this competition, for giving me the opportunity."
-Ivy Downes, Junior Secondary Winner 2020
"I so enjoyed my few days in Gunnedah, everyone was so welcoming and interesting. Meeting committee members and judges was very special, especially Anne Bell and Kat Apel, and hearing the young poets present their works was inspiring. I am extremely glad I was able to be at the presentation ceremony and associated events and thank all those who contributed to the organisation."
- K. Neasey, 2019 Primary Schools' Winner
"It was a wonderful experience for our whole family to come to presentation ceremony in Gunnedah. We totally enjoyed the whole event. A highlight was the dinner the night before in the lovely gallery, it was special for the parents and kids to get to know each other and their backgrounds. Lachlan has gained great confidence by having to read his poem out on stage. It also gave us a better understanding about the background of the award and how important and big it is. All the organised and committee members were very welcoming and our only regret is not being able to stay on for the weekend to have a look around the area. Thanks to all involved."
- M. Spence, parent of 2019 winner
"We loved all of the events and it was very clear how much attention to detail had gone into each one. It was also wonderful to be around people who are so passionate about encouraging young people to express themselves. I was very moved to see tears in James Knight’s eyes at one point when he talked about the power of words and the importance of letting young people’s voices be heard - and I think his message resonated with everyone there.
We will never forget the experience and are so grateful to you all for your generosity and hospitality."
- J. Scully, parent of 2018 winner
"I had a great time in all the schedules and I was so grateful to see the beautiful town. It was a amazing new experience for myself and Amy."
- K. Kwak, parent of 2018 winner