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Stratford To Host Victorian Bush Poetry Championships

Gippsland Bush Poets make an exciting announcement

By Dennis & Julie - 25th June 2002 - Back to News

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Stratford will host the ‘Victorian Bush Poetry Championships’ over the weekend of October 12th and 13th this year. The event will be held in Stratford’s Mechanics Hall. The President of the Gippsland Bush Poets, Dennis Carstairs, made the announcement last week.

The Gippsland Bush Poets will run the Victorian Bush Poetry Championships, under the rules and guidelines of the Australian Bush Poets Association. Many of Australia’s top Bush Poets will be competing over the weekend with enquires already being sought. To be run in conjunction with last years award winning Gippsland Writers Festival, the Championships have been recognised by the Wellington Shire as a ‘Major Event’.

The township will be full to overflowing over the weekend with organisers sending out accommodation information on all Stratford and surrounding district Motels, Caravan Parks and B & Bs.

The Gippsland Centre Sale and the Wellington Shire are major sponsors of the event, with the Avon Hotel sponsoring the Traditional section, and Stratford Hardware & Plumbing Supplies sponsoring the Original section. The Stratford Motel, Avon Hotel, Stratford Top Tourist Caravan Park and Tranquil B&B are to be thanked for their support in donating accommodation for the Judges.

The Judges for the weekend will be, Australia’s funniest stand up comic poet Neil McArthur from Ballarat, Neil Hulm from Lavington NSW, author of 13 books of Australian verse, Eric Britton President of the Henry Lawson Society, Sue Gleeson, Secretary of the Snowy Mountains Bush Poetry Club and ‘The Rhymer from Ryde’ Graeme Johnson,

a well respected poet from Sydney. Neil McArthur and Graham Johnson will also be conducting the ‘Poets Breakfast’ at the Avon Hotel on both the Saturday and Sunday mornings from 7.30 till 9.30 am.

The Championships will begin on both mornings at 10.00 am. The heats will be held on the Saturday and the Finals on the Sunday. It is anticipated that the presentations will take place at 2.30pm Sunday afternoon. The overall Victorian Bush Poetry Champion will receive $500 and a trophy to the value of $300. Cash and certificates to the runner up and commended. The best Original and Traditional poems will also be recognised with cash and trophies. A junior section (16 years and under) will be run with $100 and a trophy for the winner and $50 and a certificate to the runner up.

Acclaimed poet and author Roderick Williams will also be competing and will be in town a week prior to help promote both the Victorian Championships and his new book of Children’s poetry.

On the Saturday night an evening of song and verse around the campfire at the Stratford Caravan Park will begin at 7.00pm. An informal night many entrants in the song writing competition and performance poets will entertain the crowd. No entrance fees will be charged and a BBQ tea will be available for a small cost. BYOG

For further information contact Julie Carstairs, secretary of the Gippsland Bush Poets on (03) 5145 6128 or email

A web site for the weekends festival has been set up:


19 Jun, 2017
Hi Liz, lovely to see our old news can still be of some interest. The Victorian Bush Poetry Championships is at Corryong next year, Apr 4 to 8, 2018. There is more info here at For more information contact Poetry Event ManagerJan Lewis (02) 6077 4332 Hope that helps, Gippsland Support : )

17 Jun, 2017
How disappointing- just realised this was 15 years ago! When's the next one? Liz:)

17 Jun, 2017
This is really exciting! I will send out via our poetry network, cheers Liz Dorsett, Baw Baw Poetry Group 0467607842.


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