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.

Meet a Poet - Carmel Wooding

Carmel WoodingCarmel Wooding was first introduced to Bush Poetry by her parents, Tom and Maureen Dunn after a trip to the Tamworth Country Music Festival when she was about 12 years old.  With the strong support of Tom and Maureen, Carmel soon fell in love with the wonderful artform of Bush Poetry and travelled the country attending many bush poetry events and competitions.  A highlight for Carmel was the opportunity to visit the USA in both 2002 and 2003 to perform at the American Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada.
After ‘growing up’, getting married and having kids, Carmel is now rediscovering her love of writing and performing and is excited to be reentering the poetry scene.  Carmel and her husband Adam have returned to Carmel’s childhood home of Warwick where she is a Teacher Librarian.  Carmel’s children, James and William, are now taking to the stage and she is excited to share her Bush Poetry journey with them into the future.

Carmel has a book and a CD which can be obtained by emailing her at

See previously featured poets.

Member Achievements - Ray Essery

Ray Essery

Ray Essery ‘The Mullumbimby Bloke’ is without doubt one of the most highly regarded performing Bush Poets in Australia today.

This ‘North Coast, NSW’ poet can leave his audience in stitches with hilarious tales that reflect his years as a dairy farmer, navy man and Sydney pub manager. Likewise he can dig deep into the kitbag of his family memories to deliver heartfelt recollections of his early life, taking his audience on a nostalgic journey back to when life on the North Coast was just a little less complicated. 

This mischievous, lovable larrikin is equally at home performing at any of Australia’s major festivals as he is entertaining at a corporate event. 

Ray Essery is a story teller, a historian, a romantic, a comic and above all else, an entertainer. 

Ray’s autobiography One Hell of a Ride is available from  or phone Ray on 0438 843 817.

See previously featured achievers.

Festival Action

Poetry with the Rainbow Serpent. Poetry and picnic, Beaudesert Qld.

The occasional showers of rain on Friday, 8th June did not prevent the Beaudesert Bush Bards and their friends from enjoying an outing designed to take bush poetry back to its origins - in the bush.                                                  
Their annual  bush  picnic “Poetry With The Rainbow Serpent” at Il-Bogan Park, was combined with the planting of a memorial tree for Betty Markwell who passed away recently at the age of 91.   Betty was an inaugural member, past secretary and Patron of the poetry group.
Event organiser, Ian Gasking was thanked for arranging yet another successful event.
Pamela Fox, President

Betty Markwell memorial planting


Poets with Pizazz

ABPA Poets joined the Poets with Pizzazz to perform at the Rockhampton Show in June.

Janine Keating

Janine Keating from Gladstone

Carol Reffold

Carol Reffold (wintering from Victoria)

Bob Pacey

and Bob Pacey from Rockhampton.