Yash and Naomi announced as winners of ‘Dorothea Mackellar’ CRC award

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Minister for Citizenship and Communities Victor Dominello announced two NSW primary school students as dual winners of this year’s Dorothea Mackellar Community Relations Commission (CRC) Poetry Award.

The NSW Government, through the CRC, presents an award each year to the best poem highlighting the value of cultural diversity within the Australian community. A shortlist of entries is supplied by the Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Society.

Dominello presented Yash Goel, a six-year-old Castle Hill Public School student and Naomi So, a 10-year-old Lindfield Public School student, with a CRC medal and $250 prize money each at NSW Parliament this morning.

“Yash and Naomi were among 8,500 Australian students from 600 schools who submitted entries for the annual Dorothy MacKellar Poetry competition, the largest and oldest of its kind for school students,” Dominello said.

“Yash’s poem ‘Being Nani’ and Naomi’s poem ‘I Am a Refugee’ were chosen by the judges for successfully articulating the value of cultural diversity, identity and belonging in Australia.

The competition judges described Yash’s poem as gentle and honest: “Told from the heart this young poet shares with us a precious aspect of his cultural heritage and the line ‘although I am Australian, I am Indian too’, says it all.”

They commended Naomi’s piece for achieving powerful imagery:

“The simple lined contradiction creates a powerful conclusion. It encompasses the fight and bravery to be classified as someone starting out all over again.

“Often those who join our Australian family from countries abroad bring a heightened appreciation for all that is great about this land,” Dominello said.

“These two young poets have been able to eloquently express their feelings about life in Australia”.

“Through their words, Yash and Naomi have articulated who they are and why they love their country – just as the great poet in whose name these awards are made, Dorothea Mackellar said: ‘All you who have not loved her, You will not understand’.

“That’s why this is a wonderful project to foster a love of country and a love of the written word from a young age,” he said.

This year the Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards celebrated its 30th anniversary.

Further information about the CRC prize can be found at:

http://www.crc.nsw.gov.au/awards_and_events/dorothea_mackellar_poetry_award

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