Student Poetry Competition 2022: Years 7-8

The winning entries in the Year 7-8 category for this year’s Student Poetry Competition capture the power of language and share vivid and memorable imagery.

Congratulations to Eliza Ashby (Loreto College Ballarat), Felicity Van Rensburg (Harkaway Hills College), Katherine Lam (Presbyterian Ladies’ College), Grace Sudjuno (Harkaway Hills College) and all of those who received honourable mentions.


The competition, part of the Arts Learning Festival, was open to students from all school sectors, and attracted more than 500 entries.

‘A compassionate poem, sprinkled throughout with contrasting vivid and memorable images.’
Written poetry – Eliza Ashby, Year 7, Loreto College Ballarat

Worlds Apart
We run through fields without a care
They dig down in mines, as far as they dare
We live lives filled with love and laughter ringing in our ears
They work till they die, lives ending, even in the earliest years
We lie warm in our beds, sweet kisses goodnight
They collapse on cement, mourning their plight
Closed windows, locked doors, safety not a second thought
Dark alleys, shadows lurking, danger prowls the night unfought
We stand giggling in a group, ready for class after a rest
They march in a line, guns held tight across their chest
We learn in classrooms laden with countless possibilities
They forage the streets laden with rubbish and hostilities
We cover in clothes, fashion pulled from our phones
They exist in threadbare rags, hanging limp from their bones
We walk with thick soles beneath our soft feet
They run bare and calloused along the heartless street
Innocent to the turmoil in a world far away,
It is happening to them each and everyday
Oblivious to the luck of which we have won
We must advocate for them; each and every one.

‘Stunning imagery conveyed through the unique power of the poet’s language.’
Written poetry – Felicity Van Rensburg, Year 7, Harkaway Hills College

A New Dawn
Dusk descends upon the land,
Bathing the town a misty cloak of gloom.
The moon glares harshly,
Hovering cryptically within layers of moving clouds.
A light shower begins,
Sprinkling sorrowful tears of despair.
The wind moans and cries
In the melancholy air.
Thunder cascades from above,
Lighting flashes like a white whip in the night.
The tall, proud oak trees,
Stand silhouetted against the catastrophic sky.
A storm-rattled cottage,
Lies half-submerged on a flooded field,
Timber panels stained a darker shade,
Mould forms across the square casement windows.
A dark, grey blanket of water,
Expands selfishly across the field.
Drowning neighbouring houses,
With a torrent of gushing water.


After a disastrous rampage,
There is now calm.
The water boasts of his victory,
His regained territory.
An ocean of filth murk and grub,
Surfaces the land of despair,
In waist high water.
It is still, unfazed.
The wind’s whimpering,
Echos down the stream of silent water.
A stealthy seeping of water is heard,
Creeping through tiny cracks of houses.
I wade myself through the water-logged paddock,
Water seeping through my innermost being.
Suffocating any warmth,
Smothering any hope.
A thick, cracked bough
Glides across the surface of the water.
Drifting past,
Into a void of the unknown.


A new dawn arrives,
Awakening little roamers of the land.
A glorious radiance appears,
Rising victoriously over the horizon.
The brilliant gleam enlightens the sky,
A delectable peachy orange.
Soft, distant clouds drift like puffs of white smoke,
Bees and birds hum to a melodic tune.
Luscious, thick grass,
Envelops the rolling hills.
Cottages stand proud once more,
And a new future begins.

‘Impassioned eloquence, lifting the audience out from the ordinary notion of Belonging, showing glimpses of another reality.’
Performance poetry – Katherine Lam, Year 8, Presbyterian Ladies' College

‘How to Belong’


‘A fine grasp of recitation skills emphasises the poem’s stunning imagery.’
Performance poetry – Grace Sudjuno, Year 7, Harkaway Hills College

‘Song of Hope’


Honourable mentions

Written poetry

  • Julianna Avila Daboub – Year 7, Harkaway Hills College – ‘The Boy Under the Bridge’
  • Luella Rose Freitag – Year 7, The King David School – ‘A Sunny Flower’
  • Lizzy Henry – Year 7, Strathcona Girls’ Grammar School – ‘The Bunyip’
  • Josh Pittard – Year 8, Bacchus Marsh Grammar – ‘The Ballad of ScoMo’
  • Tavnoor Singh – Year 8, Bacchus Marsh Grammar – ‘A Day in the Life of Earth’
  • Jasmine Westaway – Year 7, Orbost Secondary College – ‘Black Summer’

Performance poetry

  • Helena Farley – Year 8, Luther College – ‘Belonging’
  • Astrid Flaim – Year 8, Billanook College – ‘Belonging Lite’
  • Jonah Riley – Year 8, Carey Baptist Grammar School – ‘Life with Purpose’
  • Amina Shakir Arafath – Year 8, Al-Taqwa College – ‘I cannot fit in’
  • Maryam Zahraman – Year 8, Al-Taqwa College – ‘The Leaf and the Wind’


Read and watch more from this year’s Student Poetry Competition.