Our young poets remind us of the power of optimism and hope, says Deputy Premier James Merlino

Victoria’s Deputy Premier and Minister for Education James Merlino has thanked all our student poets for reminding us of the power of optimism and hope.


In a video moving message recorded for the announcement of the results in ISVs Student Poetry Competition, Mr Merlino says we are all grappling with great uncertainty and change.


‘Now more than ever, people need to feel reassured, and to hear the message of hope,’ he says.


Mr Merlino says that despite COVID-19, the poems reflected the students’ resilience, strength and optimism, as well as their creative ability.


‘Thank you for reminding us of our shared humanity and the power of optimism and hope,’ he says. ‘We are all in this together.’


For full result details, go to the news section of the Arts Learning Festival website.

Our winners


Prep-Year 2

Winter, by Adele Bilney, Year 2, Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar School. Watch Adele read her poem.

Years 3-4

Silver Lining, by Mehak Soin, Year 4, Melbourne Girls Grammar. Watch Mehak read her poem.

Years 5-6

After the Fire, by Felicity van Rensburg, Year 5, Harkaway Hills College. Watch Felicity read her poem.

Years 7-8

Hope, by Ravin Rathnayake, Year 8, Haileybury College Edrington. Watch Ravin read his poem.

Years 9-10

Hope in a Whistle, by Haelie Roberts, Year 9, Olivet Christian College. Video coming soon.

Years 11-12

Summer Longings, by Derek Villaceran, Year 12, Lilydale High School. Video coming soon.