Student Poetry Competition 2023: Years 5 – 6 Winners

From the birth of a baby whale, to the tale of a grandfather ‘who came from there to here’, new beginnings encapsulates many of the winning Year 5–6 poems in this year’s Student Poetry Competition.

Congratulations to Zaid Zuhair (Fitra Community School), Maverick Lawrence-Politis (Penleigh & Essendon Grammar School), Scarlette Wong (St Margaret’s Berwick Grammar), Millie Daniel (Woodleigh School) 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
‘Striking imagery conveyed through the exceptional power of the poet’s language.’
‘Little Blue's Beginning’
Zaid Zuhair, Fitra Community School


One lone whale,

She swims in silence,

And yet there is a heartbeat

Within her own,

A second heartbeat,


Once, twice, three times,

Pierced by a sharp pain,

She lets out a wail,

Long eerie groans,

Then all is still,

A new life enters the world,

Then up, up up he goes

A breath is exhaled,

Watery mist fills the night air,

The sound of waves fills his ears,

With a splash, he dives,

Comforted by a motherly fin

He swims,

Deeper, and deeper he goes,

Slowly, he gravitates to a thrumming call,

Not random,

but instinctively familiar,

Mother, son and pod.

‘A fantastic, personal story that is not only fun to read but enjoyable and heartfelt.’
‘My Greek BIG Grandfather Who Came from There to Here’
Maverick Lawrence-Politis, Penleigh & Essendon Grammar School


He is a young sailor who became…

An immigrant

A husband

A taxi driver

A father and a grandfather.


He is…

An exceptional handyman

A mathematical mind

Healthy of appetite

And, has a sharp eye for design.


He is…

Rambunctious and loud

At times, volatile

Generous of heart

Memorable to all he meets.


He is…

A committed worker

Loving father and grandfather

Glass half full person

Cares for everyone.


He is…

Half deaf

And has a hug that can crush

Stronger than he knows

A gentle giant.


We love him

He is …
My Παππου
Γιώργος Πολίτης

‘A lovely message delivered with an essence of purity and poetic touch.’
‘Whispers of Childhood’
Scarlette Wong, St Margaret's Berwick Grammar


In the realm of innocence, where wonders reside,

Childhood’s enchantment, a magical guide,

With eyes wide open, the world a grand play,

A symphony of laughter, in each passing day.


Skipping through meadows, barefoot and free,

Chasing butterflies, like dreams in a spree,

Imagination soaring, with no limits to bind,

In realms of make-believe, pure joy we find.


With scraped knees and rosy cheeks aglow,

Building castles of sand, with hearts all aglow,

Giggles and secrets shared, with trusted friends,

Childhood memories, where time suspends.


Running through fields, beneath the golden sun,

Catching raindrops, for moments of fun,

Discovering treasures, in nature’s embrace,

Whispering secrets, with a smile on each face.


Storybooks unfolding, transporting our mind,

Into realms of fantasy, where dreams intertwine,

Bicycles speeding, wind tousling our hair,

Carefree adventures, a taste of freedom rare.


Puddles to jump in, with gleeful splashes,

Ice cream cones melting, leaving sticky traces,

The innocence of youth, like petals unfurled,

A tapestry of moments, precious in this world.


Oh, childhood’s embrace, a fleeting treasure,

Where worries are distant, and life’s pure pleasure,

In the passage of time, may we hold on tight,

To the whispers of childhood, forever alight.

Performance poetry
‘Impassioned eloquence lifts the audience out from the familiar notion of a journey.’
‘A Simple Guide to Taking a Successful Journey’
Millie Daniel, Woodleigh School
Honourable mentions
Written poetry
  • Hashir Afraz, Wyndham Park Primary School – ‘The Owl’
  • Mujtaba Alaskary, Wesley College – ‘Our Connection’
  • Jacob Appan, Lysterfield Lake College – ‘Down the River, Up the Stream’
  • Sophie Bruning-Veal, Wesley College – ‘The Earth Through Time’
  • Annette Burger, Harkaway Hills College – ‘Thunderstorm’
  • Maya Chavez, Harkaway Hills College – ‘Sanguine Summer and Phlegmatic Autumn’
  • Hayley Cheong, Harkaway Hills College – ‘Our Dearest Nana’
  • Jemima Collins, Sacre Coeur – ‘I am not the Type of Girl’
  • Alexandra Curtin, Sacre Coeur – ‘Dreamland’
  • Emily Damen, St Joan of Arc School – ‘Autumn Night’
  • Isla Eagleton, Chairo Christian School – ‘I, little leaf’
  • Ashani Elvin, St Michael’s Grammar School – ‘I am a Tiger’
  • Ariana Fais, Shelford Girls’ Grammar – ‘The dog ate my homework’
  • Patrick Freeman, Lysterfield Lake College – ‘Everest’
  • Esther Howden, Fitzroy Community School – ‘Journey Through the Creek’
  • Luc Ibrahim, Fitzroy Community School – BMX
  • Emily Lam, Presbyterian Ladies’ College – ‘Imagination’
  • David Materia, Lysterfield Lake College – ‘Trying to find Summer’
  • Ibraheem Mohamed, Fitra Community School – ‘Scarlet’s Journey’
  • Andrada Maria Musat, Lighthouse Christian College – ‘Big bear’
  • Liam O’Connor, Freshwater Creek Steiner School – ‘Moving Down’
  • Olivia – Mount Evelyn Christian School – ‘Journey to the Heart’
  • Andrea Poh, Harkaway Hills College – ‘The Sky’
  • Samiha Rukayat, Al-Taqwa College – ‘The Journey of a Lifetime’
  • Charlee Ryder, Covenant College – ‘Til Now
  • Edie Ryding, Brunswick South West Primary School – ‘My Mind’
  • Shristi Srikant, St Margaret’s Berwick Grammar – ‘Pressure’
  • Sophie Stanley, Sacre Coeur – ‘Teddy H Bear’
  • Melissa Waldron, Brunswick South West Primary School – ‘Significant’
Performance poetry
  • Claire Li, Lighthouse Christian College – ‘The Obstacle Course’