Forms and Electronic Subscriptions
On This Site
of Modern Bush Poets
Many Poets have products and services available
Roll of Honour
Australian Bush Poetry Champions
and ABPA executive members
See and hear some of our
modern Bush Poets
Poets often tell yarns too.
Read some great Aussie yarns
ABPA Strategic Plan
2016 Review of Competition Package
and Strategic Plan
2017 ABPA Committee
- ABPA Committee
President - Tom McIlveen
Vice President - Ray Essery
Secretary - Rhonda Tallnash
Treasurer - Carol Hutcheson
- Committee Members
- ABPA State Delegates
Qld - Cay Ellem
NSW - Rob Christmas
Vic - Jan Lewis
Tas - Philip Rush
SA - Bob Magor
NT - Lance Lawrence
WA - Irene Conner
- Magazine Editor - Neil McArthur
Promotions Officer - Brenda Joy
Fund-raising Officer - Janine Keating
Public Officer - Penny Broun
Returning Officer - Penny Broun
Facebook Editors - Brenda Joy
and Shelley Hansen
Webmaster - Gregory North
President's Report April-May
Greetings to all fellow ABPA members and magazine readers. What a tumultuous month it has been here on the home front! The long, hot summer served us a grand finale of our very own Black Sunday...capping off the hottest summer on record. Fanned by north westerly winds and unprecedented 50 degree heat, a bush fire very nearly wiped us off the map. Saved by local and regional fire fighters, it was a very near thing. I got to see firsthand the incredible work that these men and women do. They literally risk their lives to save other people’s properties. You only ever get to hear about the properties that are lost on the news...not the hundreds that are saved. They are heroes, each and every one of them, and having been up close and personal with them of late, I will sing their praises for evermore! No sooner had the soot and ash settled, then the rain started ! And now...floods ! I think Dorothea Mackellar said it best... ‘Land of the rainbow gold, for flood and fire and famine...she pays us back threefold.’ We also got to see the famine this year...couldn’t even grow a cherry tomato...(and they normally grow like weeds around here). Thankfully good old Coles and Woollies saved us from destitution and starvation.
Speaking of fires and poetry, I would like to extend condolences to Eric Beer and all those affected by the Dunedoo fires, which resulted in this year’s cancellation of the annual Dunedoo Bush Poetry Festival performance competition. Many of the people involved with the festival have been directly or indirectly affected by these terrible fires . We wish Eric all the best and have no doubt that Dunedoo will be back next year, bigger and better than ever!
We have recently lost another legendary bush poet in Col Wilson, affectionately known as Blue the Shearer. Col was a prolific writer and will be best remembered for his scintillating wit that he seemingly managed to put into verse with such ease. Many of his poems are still recited by performers throughout Australia, and will no doubt continue to grow in popularity with his passing. If it’s true what they say about rock and roll heaven having one hell of a good band, then it’s a sure bet that there will be some extraordinary poets entertaining the masses in that heavenly realm.
Congratulations to Bob Pa Kettle, Ken Tough and Port Macquarie’s very own Celia Kershaw for Banjo Paterson performance awards at Orange last month. On behalf of the ABPA, Thank you to Orange Rotary and Council, as well as Greg North and Rhonda Tallnash for judging. Congratulations also to performance winners at Milton Show... Ken Potter, Johnny Peel, John Raine, Duncan McDonald, Mike Lavis and Col Defries. Corryong’s annual Man From Snowy River Bush Festival and ABPA Victorian State championships are almost upon us. Kicking off on Thursday the 30th of March through to Sunday April 2nd. Also we have Tenterfield’s Oracles of the Bush, starting on Thursday March 30th through to Sunday April 2nd. (If you are reading this from the website posting, otherwise undoubtedly done and dusted by the time you get to see it in the magazine.) These are certainly both highlights on the annual bush poets’ calendar and if you haven’t been to one, (as Molly Meldrum used to say)...Do yourself a favour! With the cancellation of Dunedoo this year, Corryong and Tenterfield are bound to be inundated with Poets and visitors, so it would be wise to investigate accommodation beforehand.
Thank you to our outgoing committee vice president Hal Pritchard, Treasurer Shelley Hansen, and committee members Johnny Peel and Robyn Sykes. Our new committee met for its inaugural meeting recently. Criteria and rules for a Poetry Anthology were discussed, but a lot of work still needs to go into formulating the details regarding this. An increase in magazine printing fees was also discussed, of which I am sure Neil will elaborate more on in this edition. Also discussed was the eligibility of performance poems being performed at National level. Any poem having won at National level would be deemed ineligible for further National performance competition.
Our new treasurer Carol Hutcheson has taken over the reins from Shelley Hansen and is already making great inroads into much needed fund raising for the ABPA. Cold, hard cash is what we need to survive as an organisation and what better way to do it than with good old fashioned chook raffles. My only worry here Carol, is that with modern day snail mail, those ‘chooks’ will be well and truly thawed out by the time a winner receives them. (Just kidding). The prize will actually be of assigned $400 value to be collected from a preferred retailer, and a little more precious and non perishable than a ‘chook’. How good is that ? She is hoping to run one of these every few months. Tickets will cost $5 each and will be issued by email or self stamped envelopes for those without email. To comply with Queensland gaming rules, there will be a limited number of 400 tickets in each raffle. Cheques and direct deposits are needed. Paypal is not acceptable. I am earnestly asking all members to support Carol wholeheartedly with this! It is imperative that we all get behind her to ensure the longevity and indeed the very survival of the Australian Bush Poets Association. This magazine, that we all enjoy so much in hard copy, is becoming increasingly cost prohibitive to produce in today’s world of excessive, exorbitant printing and distribution costs. I believe that without this magazine in hard copy, the ABPA will just fade away into cyber space and lose much of the momentum that our stalwart, founding members have established since its inception. Many organisations and associations like ours are struggling in today’s economic climate and the ones that are surviving quite often resort to the good old ‘chook raffle’. I have seen many football, cricket, soccer and life saving clubs over the years continue and indeed survive in this manner. The raffles are the life blood that keeps them running. Sponsors and donations are needed to get this up and running. Can you please contact ABPA TREASURER Carol Hutcheson. Contact details here.
Well that’s all from me until the next edition.
In Poetry, Tom McILveen.
Welcome to the ABPA website
WELCOME, membership of the Australian Bush Poets Association (ABPA) is comprised of writers, performers and individuals who are interested in bush poetry and enjoy written and live stories in rhyme and metre. If you have an interest in this piece of Australian culture called Bush Poetry, you are welcome here.
The objectives of the Australian Bush Poets Association is to foster and encourage the growth of Bush Poetry in Australia. By definition, Australian Bush Poetry is metred and rhymed poetry about Australia, Australians and/or the Australian way of life.
To join the Australian Bush Poets Association and receive our bi-monthly magazine, go to our Membership page.
The ABPA keeps in touch with our members through this website (and forum) and our bi-monthly magazine of Bush Poetry news, events, results of written and spoken competitions as well as samples of contemporary bush poetry. Many members have books, CDs and other products. These can be advertised in the magazine. For rates, click here. The deadline for ads and other content for the magazine is the 22nd of the month preceding publication. Magazines are published at the beginning of February, April, June, August, October and December.
Check out our Facebook page.
Changes to Competition Package
The annual review of the ABPA Competition Package resulted in some changes to the ABPA Guidelines, Procedures, Assessment sheets and Entry Forms for both Performance and Written competitions. Following post review feedback some further minor adjustments have been made to the Performance Bush Poetry and Yarn Spinning Assessment sheets.
So that all concerned with the organisation of, judging of or participation in competitions, are in tune with the 2016 upgrades, everyone is urged to re-familiarise themselves with all the relevant documents and helpful information in the current ABPA Competition Package on the Competitions page. Should you have any queries please contact the ABPA Secretary or
or Brenda Joy, the Review Sub-Committee Secretary. Contacts here.
No Bundy Bush Poetry Muster in 2017
See Bundabereg Poets' Society explanation here.
The Great Aussie Chook Raffle
Treasurer Carol Hutcheson has instigated the proven and tried 'Chook'
raffle to raise much-needed funds.
- Prize $400.
- Each raffle limited to 400 tickets.
- Tickets $5 each.
- Purchase by direct bank deposit or cheque with a stamped, self-addressed envelope.
Full details here.
The 'Limited Issue Chook Raffles' are being conducted legally, all by email, purchase by direct deposit into our bank account, or by cheque with SSAE. Paypal will not be accepted as every ticket has to be of equal value. We are too small to absorb the costs.
Each ticket: $5.00.
Number of tickets per raffle: 400.
Gross amount raised per raffle - $2,000.00 (usable net amount will be $1,600.00 unless the prize is donated or partly donated).
Total prize each raffle - $400.00. The Prize is to be assigned to the winner's preferred retailer and gaming rules apply.
Odds are 1 in 400, better than Lotto, so I hope that with your help and good sense each raffle will sell quickly.
We invite you to purchase tickets in this life-saving venture: life-saving for ABPA, and possibly for some lucky winner. Here is how:
Please send the treasurer an EMAIL
asking to purchase one or more tickets, give your name, address, phone
number, the bank direct deposit receipt number, already done by 'pay
anyone' on your internet banking, and DEPOSIT
the single or multiple of $5.00 into the ABPA bank account (please
check your 'pay anyone' records for the correct account):
Bank A/c name: ABPA Inc.
A/c no: 154842108
Reference: ‘tickets surname’ (e.g. tickets Hutcheson). Nothing else, not enough space!
- OR, post the treasurer a CHEQUE for
the total amount in favour of The Australian Bush Poets Association Inc.
together with a SSAE (stamped self addressed envelope) to:
The ABPA Treasurer
48 Avoca Street
KINGSROY QLD 4610
The ticket (consecutively numbered if more than one) will be sent to you by email or in your SSAE.
It is over to you now, and thank you for your consideration. Please send this to your friends.
Our first prize donation of $50.00 has come from Jeff Close of in Toowoomba. Over 400 Australian books and DVDs available online or at 100 Taylor Street, Toowoomba, Qld. 4350. Phone (07) 4637 8933. He also runs The Bronze Swagman written competition.
Mick Martin of Best Gutter Solutions in SE Queensland has donated $100. Mick says: Our business is roof maintenance and gutter vacuuming. We have been operating for 14 years and our clients stick with us. We do re-roofing for tiled roofs and repairs on all roofs. There are three of us who do the work and we keep very busy most of the time. We cover jobs from Bribie to Yatala, only in South East Qld. We do large corporate work, Body Corporate work and private jobs at our "home assist" discount rates for pensioners. Our vacuum units are astounding and very effective. We do free quotes and have always prided ourselves on doing a better than expected job. Phone 0437 747 117 or 0400 265 189, office (07) 3283 7832. Best Gutter Solutions P/ L T/as McVAC GUTTER CLEANING. Email:
Mick is also an enthusiastic bush poet, a great listener, humorist, and do-er.
We are very grateful for Jeff and mick's generosity.
ABPA members Ian Groves, Nigel Johnson and Robin Marshall have each donated $50. An anonymous member has donated $100 and another $400 to cover our next raffle. Thank you all!
See previously featured poets.
See previously featured achievers.
New ABPA Victorian Champions
Held as part of the Man
From Snowy River Festival in Corryong Victoria 30 March - 2
Written Champion: Tom McIlveen (Mr President!).
Female Open Performance Champion: Rhonda Tallnash (right). Second: Christine Boult (left).
Male Open Performance Champion: Ken Tough (centre). Second: Ken Potter (right). MC Geoffrey Graham (left).
Ken Tough also won the Man From Snowy River recital. Here's the perpetual trophy.
One Minute poem winner: Kathy Vallance (right). Second: Christa Dwyer. Lawrie Sheridan Encouragement Award winner: John Davis.
Intermediate winner: Judy Boyd. Second: John Raine.
Novice Winner: Chrysta Dwyer (right). Second: Don Dwyer (centre). Third: Margaret Beechey (left).
Some of the competitors and judges that made it such a great festival. Congratulations to all.
Thanks to Jennifer Fennell of Upper Murray Photography for he kind permission to feature her photos. Facebook page.