Welcome to the ABPA website

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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.

Aims
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.

Membership
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) also a bi-monthly magazine of Bush Poetry news, events, results of written and spoken competitions as well as publishing contemporary bush poetry. Many members have books, CDs and other products. These can be advertised in the magazine. For rates, click here

Facebook Check out our Facebook page.

Competition Package is now available with guidelines, judging and competition sheets, accredited judges list and application form and approved competitions list. If found necessary, these documents are open to amendment or changes as required following membership input and committee approval.

Roll of Honour lists Australian Bush Poetry Champions and ABPA Executive members since inception. There are also tributes to members who have recently passed on.


Vale Milton Taylor

Milton TaylorIt is with great sadness that we share news of the death of Milton Taylor on the night of Saturday 16th May from a suspected heart attack. He was a month short of his 72nd birthday.

Milton Taylor was an encouragement and inspiration to so many bush poets. Not only was he a wonderful bloke to know, he was a sensational performer and excellent writer of bush poetry. Many of his award-winning poems appear on the poetry page of this site. On the Roll of Honour page you'll see Milton was five-times Australian Champion - more than anyone else.

Very few people are able to master both writing and performance and even fewer can create and deliver both joy and pathos with equal effectiveness. Milton was such a master. He will be greatly missed in bush poetry circles.

There will be a celebration of the life of Milton Taylor from 2 pm on Friday 29th May at Lithgow Golf Club NSW. All welcome.
Milton's ashes will be scattered on the Thomson River at Longreach, on a date to be fixed.  His many western friends are invited to join in this final farewell.


New Australian Champions

The ABPA now has new Australian Champions decided at the National Championships held in conjunction with the Man From Snowy River Festival in Corryong Victoria from 9th to 12th April 2015.

ABPA Female Performance Champion - Rhonda Tallnash of Violet Town, Victoria.
ABPA Male Performance Champion - Roderick Williams of Myrtleford, Victoria.
ABPA Written Champion - Tom McIlveen of Port Macquarie, NSW.
ABPA Junior Written and Performance Champion - Caitlan Klippel (age 13) of Corryong, Victoria.
Caitlan was also the worthy recipient of the inaugural Frank Daniel Encouragement Award which was not decided on the basis of her wins but on her overall contribution to performing poetry and to volunteering throughout the Man From Snowy River Festival. ABPA committee member Robyn Sykes presented the award on behalf of Frank's daughter, Catherine Daniel, and it was felt by all three judges (Robyn Sykes, Carol Reffold and Brenda Joy) that Frank would have been delighted to give encouragement to a junior poet who is not only a very talented writer but who is passionate about all aspects of bush poetry; a true champion of the future whose interest and zeal deserves encouragement.

Rhonda Tallnash      Roderick Williams
   Rhonda Tallnash - Female Performance Champion            Roderick Williams - Male Performance Champion

Tom McIlveen     Caitlan Klippel
                  Tom McIlveen - Written Champion                          Caitlan Klippel - Junior Champion & Frank Daniel Award winner


Meet a Poet – Garry Lowe

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.

Garry LoweGarry Lowe is one of those wonderful entertainers who has experienced the hardships of life and come through the knocks to transmute his trials into performances that have brought joy to so many over many years.

Garry was one of the fortunate bush poets who was around when the late Bobby Miller was alive and Bobby and many of his compatriots have had a great influence on him. Garry’s own entertaining career as a bush poet really took off after he successfully auditioned for Red Faces’ on Melbourne’s Channel 9. He won $500 and was featured in the television show Hey, Hey it’s Saturday. The following year he got a spot with Jim Haynes at the Longyard and following his involvement in Tamworth, he became a ‘Longyard Legend’ in 2009 sharing the honours that year with his good mate Milton Taylor. Another career highlight for Garry was opening the Australian Bush Laureate Award nights for two years playing the national anthem on a gum leaf. He remembers these occasions as ‘spine-chilling’ experiences.

As well as being a long term popular face around the ABPA Championships as both a successful competitor and as a performer/judge, Garry was runner up (to Milton Taylor) in the Winton Qantas Waltzing Matilda performance competition. He also spent seven winters entertaining the travellers at the caravan park in Blackall from 1996 – 2002 and a further four years in Mitchell during the flood period. He finally hung up his outback wandering boots in 2013 deciding that he no longer needed to “roam around like a mongrel dog”. Although a dedicated ‘cockroach’ he has spent the last four years in Queensland thanks to his relationship with a special ‘cane-toad’ lady.

In Garry’s words, “There are two things I love – doing poetry and breathing,” and as he has no intent of giving up either of these pursuits, we will no doubt see Garry around the ABPA tracks for many years to come.

Garry has two CDs and a book and these can be purchased or he can be contacted for bookings on (07) 4669 4132.


See previously featured poets.



Meet Your Committee – Carol Reffold

Each month we will introduce a member or members of our hard working and dedicated committee.
This month we meet:

Committee Member Carol Reffold

Carol Reffold

Also known as the “Patchwork Poet” – Carol believes that “…life is made up of lots of seemingly irrelevant bits but once you put them together a wonderful pattern is revealed – revealing everyone’s individual life story!”

Carol started her poetry journey as a response to rudeness when instead of smacking someone in the face, she walked out of the CFA meeting where she was the secretary, walked a mile to get home and had composed a fitting, poetic, response. Since then she’s gone many miles enjoying the company of fellow poets.

Carol’s forte is poets on “L” plates. She hosted feature shows in Tamworth for many years intermingling beginning poets with featured poets – performance poetry is about performing and to be a performer you have to practice performing in front of decent sized audiences.

Carol has performed for massive crowds – the most recent big show was Boyup Brook in W.A. with a guestimated audience of 1200. She’s been a featured artist at events all over Australia – Naranderra, Mt.Isa, Cloncurry, Brisbane, and of course the Man from Snowy River Festival in Corryong and also has performed at the Whitby Folk Festival in Yorkshire, England. She’s been a guest performer on cruise liners and interstate trains.

Carol is always willing to help the cause of Bush poetry “…story telling in verse”, and is available for gigs on 0413 080 095.

Thank you Carol for giving service to the ABPA as a Committee Member for various periods including the last two years.


See previously featured committee members.


Member Achievements – Trisha Anderson

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.

SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENTS – Trisha Anderson

Trisha Anderson

Trisha Anderson, at first glance, is probably not what people are expecting when meeting an Australian Bush Poet ! – firstly, she doesn’t have a ‘cork adorned Akubra’, although she does occasionally wear a hat – she doesn’t often wear jeans and riding boots and she wasn’t born in the bush! She is however, the daughter of well known Cartoonist, Naturalist and Author Ian Gall, and it was his love and knowledge of Nature, Animals and the Australian bush that Trisha grew up with and which inspired her love of all things Australian. Always interested in the wonderful stories and poems of early Australia, she was drawn to the genre of Bush Poetry when it was enjoying it’s ‘rebirth’ over twenty years ago.

For quite some years she was content to be in the audience until Robert Raftery – a well-known Queensland poet - wrote a piece especially for her to perform. After a few months of ‘panic and nerves’ and with Robert’s and the late Bobby Miller’s encouragement, she eventually found herself on the stage – and, as they say, the rest is history ! She then became a keen performer and competitor, achieving many successes at Festivals from Winton to Tamworth to Perth and many places between.

Her love of Traditional poetry is evident in many of her performances as she relates these wonderful poems from such writers as Banjo Paterson, Will Ogilvie and Dorothea Mackellar to audiences across Australia. They are sometimes serious, sometimes humorous but they always challenge the emotions of her audience.

Trisha was the Founder of PALMA ROSA POETS in the 1990’s and for many years she invited poets from all over Australia to perform in the beautiful Heritage-listed Hamilton home which was the Headquarters of the English Speaking Union. This was always a popular and entertaining evening which sadly came to an end in 2010 when Palma Rosa was sold.

For the last 15 years she has organized the BUSH POETS at the EKKA where groups of Bush Poets perform their poetry on various stages throughout the Ekka – Brisbane’s Royal National Show.

She also organises – with the help of fellow Bush Poet Noel Stallard – the RNA EKKA BUSH POETRY COMPETITION on the first Saturday of the Show (this year the Competition is on August 8th).

Over the past 15 years, during the Tamworth Country Music Festival, Trisha has organised the BUSH POETTES. As the name implies this is a fun afternoon’s entertainment showcasing all the Female Talent performing in Tamworth – most of whom are, or have been winners or finalists in the many Competitions held throughout Australia during the year.

At the Australian Bush Laureate Awards in Tamworth in 2014 Trisha was very honoured to be presented with the JUDITH HOSIER HERITAGE AWARD – this award is presented in recognition of the ‘contribution and support of the genre of Bush Poetry' over the years. Trish says, “It was a very humbling experience as some of the previous recipients have been Slim Dusty and Ted Egan – and many of our Award winning poets such as Bruce Simpson, Kelly Dixon, Blue the Shearer and many, many more.“

Although Trish says she is just as happy these days “…being a Grandma to my five beautiful grandchildren, spending time with family and friends and pottering in my garden…”, we are pleased that she still occasionally travels around our countryside giving pleasure to many and helping others to perform. Thank you Trish for all you have done to promote bush poetry and poets.

Trish can be reached at 


See previously featured achievers.