Banjo Paterson Writing Awards

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Winners of the 2009 Childrens' Banjo Paterson Writing Awards at the Banjo Paterson Sculpture

Banjo Paterson was born on February 17, 1864 at Narrambla, near Orange in Central West NSW and from 1991, each year, the city has held the Banjo Paterson Writing Awards to honour this great Australian writer (1864 – 1941). He is most famous for penning the words to Waltzing Matilda and The Man From Snowy River. The awards are announced launched each year on the anniversary of Banjo's birth (17 February) and close in April with winners announced in July at the annual Orange Readers and Writers Festival. Introduced by the Banjo Paterson Committee and Orange City Council, the awards are now supported by Central West Libraries in partnership with the Central West Writers’ Centre.

The overall winner in the first year was Mrs Heather Bird of Roseville, New South Wales, who travelled to Orange for the Awards presentation. Mrs Bird’s story, entitled ‘A Sash with Tassels’, was about a city woman who travelled to the country to receive second prize in a writing competition – so she would have been very pleased to have actually gone home with first prize.

The Awards attract interest from all over Australia and overseas and are of a consistently high standard. They are held in conjuction with the ABC Central West Banjo Paterson Children’s Writing Awards. Since 2008 the Yvonne Zola Encouragement Award has been given to an entrant in the Children's Awards in memory of the late Yvonne Zola, a local teacher and champion of childrens' writing.



  • 1991 One winner only – see Prose
  • 1992 One winner only – see Prose
  • 1993 One winner only – see Prose
  • 1994 Katrina Iffland
  • 1995 Anne Fairbairn “High Country Dreaming”
  • 1996 Ron Stevens “Appearances”
  • 1997 David Astle “Collecting the Spoken”
  • 1998 Peter Hanbury “Reconciliation”
  • 1999 Anne Morgan “An Unknown Wreck: Macquarie Island”
  • 2000 Louise Oxley “Memorial”
  • 2001 Hylda Rolfe “For an old lady”
  • 2002 Jennifer Martiniello “Emily Knwarreye”
  • 2003 Roger Vickery “Recollections of an Old Town”
  • 2004 Judy Johnson “A Whaler’s Wife at Sea”
  • 2005 Judy Johnson “The Last Days of Mary Watson”
  • 2006 Judy Johnson “How Australia’s Last Manned Lighthouse Knows her Keeper”
  • 2007 David Campbell “Lifeblood”
  • 2008 Jo Mills “Walyunga”
  • 2009 Judy Johnson "The Bushranger's Bible"
  • 2010 Brenda Saunders "Wonderland"
  • 2011 Jo Mills "Orpheus in the Desert" "Orpheus in the Desert"
  • 2012 Helen Thurloe "Host"
  • 2013 Jim Cassidy - "The Blacksmith"
  • 2014 Margaret Bradstock "Leichhardt as Headland"
  • 2015 Margaret Bradstock "The Black Line"
  • 2016 Joanne Mills "Emu Girl, on the day before flying"
  • 2017 Margaret Bradstock "The Little Explorer's Diary"
  • 2018 Roger Vickery "Jukurrpa on bark" [1]
  • 2019


COMIC POETRY SECTION (1997 and 2002)

  • 1997 Tug Dumbly “Barbeque Bill and the Roadkill Café”
  • 1998 John Bird “The Ant Bed Court”
  • 1999 Peter Hanbury “The Sitting Poets Society”
  • 2000 Peter Hanbury “The Organ Replacement”
  • 2001 Tug Dumbly “Skasey of the Overdraft”
  • 2002 No prize awarded



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