Student Poetry Competition 2023: Years 3 – 4 Winners

From a joyful car ride with Mum, to the story of Australia’s colonisation, the theme of ‘journeys’ loomed large in the imaginations of our Year 3–4 poets.

Congratulations to Mia Healey (Strathcona Girls Grammar School), Claerwen Watkins (Geelong Grammar), Naushali Navaratne (Harkaway Hills College), Mateusz Stankiewicz (Plenty Valley Christian 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 almost 600 entries.

Written poetry winners
‘Reading the poem seems effortless as each word spirals to the next.’
Mia Healey, Strathcona Girls Grammar School

she pads

searching for food

her cubs are waiting

mother knows they are hungry

someone’s watching

the fox slips away, snuffling around

the sense of urgency drives her


a beam of light hits her

announcing her presence

she’s gone

we watch her from the car

warm and snug

I feel a pang of sympathy

she’s a predator yet she is vulnerable

out there amongst the moonlit buildings

our lives are so different

my life is comparatively easy

I don’t even contemplate the whereabouts of my next meal

yet she fights

every day

for her family’s survival

‘A delightful account of Autumn that warms your heart and rouses the senses.’
‘Autumn is Come’
Claerwen Watkins, Geelong Grammar School


As flame-coloured leaves fall

As grey clouds seethe in the sky

As the weather coldens from summer heat

Autumn is come.

As the country turns away from the sun

As the breezes whip through the emptying branches

As the dampening air presses against you

Autumn is come.

As the whistling of wedge-tailed eagles grows louder

As the musty smell of rotting leaves wades up your nose and mouth

As mountains of once red-gold, now cold dull brown leaves, form

Autumn is come.

As steps are muffled by leafy ground

As flames flicker at the bottom of chimneys

As scarves are wrapped around necks

Autumn is come.

Performance poetry winners
‘An enjoyable and relatable performance capturing a joyful car ride with mum.’
‘In The Car With Mum’
Mateusz Stankiewicz, Plenty Valley Christian College
‘A strong recitation conveying confidently and clearly the significance of the poem.’
‘The Australian Journey’
Naushali Navaratne, Harkaway Hills College
Honourable mentions
  • Renae G Abraham, Chairo Christian School – ‘The Best Journey of All’
  • Xavier Balog, Cornish College – ‘Australia’
  • Karla Barker, Cornish College – ‘No Invite’
  • Domitile Bizeau, Hawthorn West Primary School – ‘I am not, But I am’
  • Ava Cusack, Cornish College – ‘Friends’
  • Sarah Damasiewicz, Presbyterian Ladies’ College – ‘A Journey of Life’
  • Hugo Davies, Cornish College – ‘What to Write?’
  • Emma Eagleton, Chairo Christian School – ‘My Journey’
  • Xavier Eltman, Lysterfield Lake College – ‘A Journey of a Turtle’s Life’
  • Marwa Hasan Bavazeer, Al-Taqwa College – ‘Kinder to Foundation’
  • Ellie Hoffman, Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar School – ‘Full of Adventure’
  • Oskar Holmes, Hawthorn West Primary School – ‘The black cloud’
  • Benny Kluge, Cornish College – ‘Sea Turtle Journey’
  • Emerson Oh, Fitzroy Community School – ‘Where the Mind Takes You’
  • Clare Perera, Harkaway Hills College – ‘The Beach’
  • Isaac Poh, Lysterfield Lake College – ‘The Cursed Mansion’
  • Aurelia Poon, Camberwell Girls Grammar School – ‘Journeys’
  • Madeleine Rowse-Wells, St. Leonard’s College – ‘The switching of schools’
  • Josephine Sekula, Hawthorn West Primary School – ‘Earth’
  • Antonio Stamatis, Penleigh & Essendon Grammar School – ‘My Dad’s Valiant’
  • Audrey Versteeg, Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar School – ‘Journey’
  • Damian Vithoulkas, Jindivick Primary School – ‘Journey through an Ocean’
  • Poppy Wainrit, The King David School – ‘The Journey of Abraham Lincoln’
  • Hugh Wiedermann, Cornish College – ‘Emperor Penguin Journey’
  • Chloe Yang, Shelford Girls’ Grammar – ‘Journey’