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The Independent Voice of
Central West Queensland since 1923
Central West Queensland

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11 August, 2020

Winton's Bronze Swagman Award for Bush Verse

The results for the 2020 49th annual Bronze Swagman Award for Bush Verse have been announced by organisers, The Winton Business and Tourism Association.

Judge Jack Drake of Stanthorpe has chosen Marco Gliori’s poem FUMBLES as the winner of $500 and a bronze statuette crafted by Queensland sculptor Daphne Mayo. The judge wrote: ”The winner, ‘Fumbles’', is not just a good poem, it is a great poem.  It has emotion, pathos, irony and compassion as well as a powerful theme beautifully handled by its author.  The runner up and the highly commended pieces were all more than capable of winning any poetry contest”. Marco hails from Warwick in southern Queensland.

Runner-up was a poem titled ‘Crocodile’ by Keith ‘Cobber’ Lethbridge of Armadale, Western Australia. 210 poems were received from 64 poets with entries from all Australian states, the Northern Territory, New Zealand and the USA. Highly Commendeds were awarded to Robert Raftery of Greenbank Qld, Kelly Dixon of Mundubbera Qld, Heather Searles of Branxton NSW, lrene Dalgety Timpone of Atherton Qld and Brenda Joy of Charters Towers Qld. 

Entries are already open for the 50th Bronze Swagman Award for Bush Verse and four entries have already been received. The competition was first conducted in 1972 to help keep Australian Bush Poetry alive. This is especially important for Winton as Banjo Paterson wrote Waltzing Matilda in Winton in 1895. In the spirit of encouraging new writers of bush poetry, the Tim Borthwick prize going to a poet not yet published in the Bronze Swagman Books went to Heather Knight of Wentworth Falls NSW.

To help celebrate 50 years next year a gala camp oven dinner and a night of bush poetry will be held on Monday 21st September 2021.

The 2020 book of 50 poems will be available in early September from Corfields and Fitzmaurice in Winton or from

For further information contact the Honorary Co-ordinator Jeff Close at


  • Winner: Marco Gliori “Fumbles”
  • Runner-up: Keith ‘Cobber’ Lethbridge, “Crocodile”
  • Highly Commendeds: Robert Raftery, “The Black Rose”, Kelly Dixon, “Sullivan”, Heather Searles, “The Handshake”, Irene Dalgety Timpone, “Remembering Bill the Bastard”, Brenda Joy, ‘The Deluge of the Plains”

The Tim Borthwick Memorial Prize for a poet not yet published in the Bronze Swagman Book of Bush Verse: Heather Knight, “A Single Blackened Post”

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