Welcome to the ABPA website


, 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 web-site (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 - Gemma Kirk

Feature Poet - we are introducing our wonderful poets (both performers and writers) to newcomers and to the general public by featuring a different ABPA poet on the Website each month. Poets featured will come from the entire membership and may be professionals, semi-professionals or amateurs, but each will be a worthy role model to represent the ABPA membership.

Gemma Kirk

Gemma Kirk

Gemma Kirk (the granddaughter of Ruth and John Davis) is sixteen and attends the St Mary McKillop College in Canberra, ACT where she is an A-class student in Italian language.  On weekends she works in an Italian Pizza Parlour and recently she went on a tour of Italy which she found “absolutely wonderful”.  When she finishes her secondary school education at the end of this year, she has secured a job in Italy for her gap year. Naturally, she is very excited at this prospect.

Gemma’s foray into written bush poetry competition has seen her gain a second in the Bundaberg ‘Bush Lantern’ and a Highly Commended in the Winton ‘Little Swaggies’ Awards.

Well done Gemma!  What a go-getter!

See previously featured poets.

Member Achievements – John Davis

The ABPA also wishes to acknowledge the achievements of members who specialise in specific areas which help to promote the cause of the ABPA and of Bush Poetry in general.

John Davis

John Davis

John was born in Broken Hill and has spent most of his working life either on the land or working at other rural pursuits although he did spend about eight years as a part owner of supermarkets and two years working in security and a further two years working in an abattoir.

He has either owned or part owned several grazing properties ranging in size from 800 acres up to 112,000 acres and has worked on properties from Australian Capital Territory, Central, Northern and far Western New South Wales and has also spent short periods of time on cattle stations in Queensland Gulf country and the Northern Territory Barkley tablelands. He has also done stints at shearing and horse breaking.

Although he has been fond of and interested in Australian Bush poetry for most of his life he didn't become involved in either writing or performing poetry until after 2005.  Understandably, much of John’s writing has been inspired by and reflects his life in the Bush. He has published a book of his poems and also produced a CD.

It is special when someone not only performs and writes themselves, but also encourages others, especially young people, to do so. For the past ten years, John and his wife Ruth have organised and run an annual competition for primary school children and to this end they have a solid group of sponsors (including the local Federal member) who supply about $800 and several trophies for prizes for these children. Over the past five years the competition for children has been picked up by the local show Society and John and Ruth have further organised this particular competition at the local agricultural show – so that equates to running two performance competitions and one written competition for school children each year. Then, as well as their work for children, for the past two years they have run and organised a very successful open (adult) competition, at the show.

In addition, for the past eleven years John and Ruth have convened and run a social Bush poetry group in the Milton Ulladulla area. 

That’s certainly a great deal of organizing John and Ruth! Thank you to you both.

John's email address is

See previously featured achievers.

Bush Poetry Clubs and Organisations

This feature is designed to share what is being done in bush poetry clubs and organisations throughout Australia.  You are invited to submit your club’s profile (through the ABPA Promotions Officer) for inclusion in this section.

Beaudesert Bush Bards

Beaudesert Bush Bards

The Beaudesert Bush Bards took their friends and their poetry to the bush – poetry’s true home – as a change from the usual meeting place inside a hall and to celebrate Henry Lawson’s birthday on 17th June. 
Twenty-one poets and friends attended and the venue with Mt.Alford in the background, water fowl on the dam and horses grazing nearby, proved to be an ideal setting for bush poetry.  The June weather was perfect.
The idea for the event was made by our member, Ian Gasking, who went to great lengths, even building an outback loo, to ensure our comfort.   Everyone attending enjoyed the day and have voted to return to the bush again before too long.
The Beaudesert Bush Bards set a subject for each meeting but being a “pressure free zone” there is no compulsion to stick to the subject.

We meet on the third Friday of the month - 9.30am to 12 noon at the Beaudesert Community Arts & Information Centre, the corner of Mt. Lindesay Highway and Enterprise Drive - just north of the town (most of us get there just after 9am for a cuppa before we start). We also perform poetry at the Beaudesert Markets on the 1st Saturday of each month at the same venue.
Contact (07) 5541 2662 or 3272 4535.

Pamela Fox, President, Beaudesert Bush Bards.