The Dorothea Mackellar Memorial Society is introducing a David Maher Award For Small Schools for the 2018 poetry awards.
The inaugural award is a prize of $250 and has been created to honour small schools in regional areas with 30 students or fewer, and no more than two teachers.
Open to any students at these schools from Kindergarten to Year 6, the David Maher Award recognises the unique challenges and achievements small, rural schools face, as well as the connection with the bush that has long shaped and inspired Australian poetry.
The prize has been sponsored by former regional director of education for the New England North West Region, David Maher, who felt smaller schools should be acknowledged within the awards.
“In December 2016 while in Gunnedah, I was viewing the late Jean Isherwood’s paintings of My Country,” Mr Maher said.
“Concurrently, I read the program for the 2016 Awards and noted there was no provision for an award for very small schools. This prompted me to offer a sponsorship.
“I attended a small school for my primary school education, I began my teaching career at a one-teacher school, and I have great respect for the worth and tradition of small schools.”
The 34th annual Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards will be held at the Civic Theatre, at 10am on Friday, August 31. There are more than 9000 entries this year.
For more information on the awards, contact project officer Brittany Riley on 02 6742 1200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org