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.

ABPA Facebook page 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.


Limited Issue Chook Raffle

The ABPA is running a  '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.

That's a 1 in 400 chance of winning $400!

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):
    A/c name: ABPA Inc.
    BSB: 633000
    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
    Carol Hutcheson
    48 Avoca Street

The ticket (consecutively numbered if more than one) will be sent to you by email or in your SSAE.
Closing Date: 31st May 2017 or before. Drawn: 1st June 2017 or before.
It is over to you now, and thank you for your consideration. Please send this to your friends.

A donation of $50.00 has come from Jeff Close of outbackbooks.info - About Us 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.

Thanks to our other ABPA member sponsors:
Ian Groves of Lakewood: ‘providing feed for the silo’           $50.00
Nigel Johnson of Armidale: ‘seeing good changes’            $50.00
Robin Marshall of Berrigan: ‘keeping the fire burning’         $50.00
Anonymous: ‘to repay for successes in poetry’                   $100.00
Anonymous, for the second Limited Issue Chook Raffle: $400.00

Good luck!

Meet a Poet - Jim Kent

Jim KentBorn in 1940 a few minutes after Old Rowley won the cup at 100 to 1 (and lucky he wasn’t named Rowley), Jim is a retired Area Postal Manager living in Port Fairy Victoria and has been associated with the bush, farming and its people all of his life, having descended from rural pioneering stock.

He has dabbled in Short Story and Bush Ballad writing for a number of years and has won numerous awards and commendations, including the Harold Goodwin Award (Grenfell NSW Henry Lawson Festival), the Northern NSW (Orange)  Banjo Paterson Award, and the Toolalngi C J Dennis writing for Children Award. He has self published (very limited numbers non commercial) three books of his verse and one of short stories.

He is very interested in Australian History and has authored a number of historical articles. Whilst Postmaster at Pyramid Hill (Victoria) he wrote the Majors Vision – the history of that local community.

However his favourite remains bush ballads especially humorous verse.

See previously featured poets.

Achievers entertaining travellers around the traps

Mel and Susie on TourMel & Susie on Tour - Lightning Ridge NSW.
Daily shows at 4:30 pm for guests at Opal Caravan Park.
Stay tuned for regular shows at their own theatre - A Hidden Gem - due to start once construction is completed (it's the outback, so things happen in their own good time!)

Poetry on a PlateAndrew Hull, Poetry on a Plate - Bourke NSW.
6.30pm on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday nights at Kidmans Camp, North Bourke.
The season runs from April through until October.

Bob Pacey
Bob Pacey - Yeppoon Qld.
Coolwaters Holiday Village
Usually Thursday nights, with a meal and some country music on alternating weeks. 
From mid-June through to the end of August.

Neil McArthurNeil McArthur - Charters Towers Tourist Park Qld.

Brenda JoyBrenda Joy and Hal Pritchard - Texas Longhorn Wagon Tours north of Charters Towers Qld.Depending on demand and conditions. May through September.

Brenda Joy also at Dalrymple Cabin and Van Park, Charters Towers Qld.
'Around the Campfire' 5-6 pm Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. June/July.

August - Discovery Holiday Park, Cloncurry Qld.
'Happy Hour' 4.30 to 5.30 Tuesday 1st - Sunday 6th
Post Office Caravan Park, Barkly Highway, Camooweal 07 4748 2124
'Happy Hour' 5.00 - 6.15  Tuesday 22nd - Thursday 24th
(Lead up to the Drovers' Camp Festival 25th - 27th August)

Gregory NorthGregory North - Winton Qld
Nightly at 7 pm at Matilda Country Tourist Park, 43 Chirnside Street Winton Qld.
3-course dinner available at 6pm for $24 each.
Now until Father's Day (3 September).

See previously featured achievers.

Vale Lynden Baxter

Lynden BaxterRespected ABPA bush poet Lynden Baxter from Monto Queensland passed away in Bundaberg on 23rd June.

Lynden was the 2016 Clancy's Choice overall male winner at the Man From Snowy River Festival in Corryong Victoria on his first visit to that festival. He was also 2015 Queensland Male Bush Poetry Performance Champion at the Bundy Muster, and is in fact still the holder of that title. He and his faithful dog Dusty were well known to many.

North Pine Bush Poets member John Best wrote, "Lynden was a great bloke, wonderful writer and performer and will be sadly missed by all who were lucky enough to meet him."

He will be sorely missed and our sympathy is with his family.

Funeral arrangements are yet to be announced.

Vale Rusty Christensen

Rusty ChristenesenKevin 'Rusty' Christensen passed away on May 17. I understand that he died very peacefully.

As most WA bush poets are aware, Rusty got us started as an organisation [WA Bush Poets & Yarn Spinners Association], round about 1995, when he called a meeting, with performances, at a hall in Applecross. (This darn computer wants me to spell “organisation” with a “z”, but Rusty wouldn’t like that. He had nothing against Americans, but didn’t want Australia to become another US State. And he wasn’t shy to let anyone know.)

Rusty loved Australia, its language and especially its bush poetry. He was a gentleman in the best sense of the word, with all the kindness, compassion, wisdom and understanding that goes with  being a gentleman. (I read about it). But he also had that streak of larrikin humour (there goes that Yankee computer again) that could tear strips off an opponent, an interjector or anyone who tried to rhyme “get up” with “syrup”. (Who would be so bold?) On occasion, Rusty could be outspoken and bloody annoying, but he never held a grudge. Most of us loved him just the way he was. He taught me plenty.

“He could mix with the high and mighty, break bread with the upper crust,
Or roll his swag by a boab tree out in the far West Kimberley
With battling bums like us.”

When Rusty and I went to Winton (in Queensland) in 1996, my wife Maricor was happy that Rusty would be there “to keep me out of trouble”. I suppose that was fair enough. After all, I was on bail at the time and really not supposed to be out of the State. I soon found out that Rusty could also be a fair dinkum scallywag, so in the finish we both kept each other out of trouble (just).

Most of us could tell a thousand stories about Rusty, and on some other occasion I’d certainly love to start the ball rolling. But for now, I’ll just mention 2 things: Firstly, deep condolence and also a tribute to Rusty’s wife, Judy. What a wonderful person and a true lady. I don’t think Rusty would mind me saying that without Judy, his life would have been sadly diminished.

Secondly, rest in peace Rusty, old mate. You had a magnificent journey and it was my great honour and privilege to have shared a small portion of it with you. Keep the billy boiling old fella, and I’ll catch you later on.


It is with great sadness that we note the passing of Rusty Christensen. Rusty was founder and inaugural president of WABP&YS in 1995. Rusty promoted “Bush Poetry and Keeping the Aussie Tradition Alive” at every opportunity throughout his community,
in the country and overseas. He has won awards at Winton and been twice invited to the “Cowboy Poets of America” festival. Open Champion at the Waltzing Matilda Bush Poetry Festival 2004, Melville Citizen of the Year in 2001. His business card read “Bush Poet, Balladeer and Story Teller” Ambassador for “2002 Year of the Outback”. Despite his advancing years, Rusty’s command of the microphone and his ability to put life into his performances was an inspiration to all of us younger poets. Rest in peace old mate.

Bill Gordon, WABP&YS President.

[Courtesy of Keith 'Cobber' Lethbridge and Bill Gordon via the WABP&YS 'Bully Tin' newsletter]