Cloncurry Prize Poetry Competition

Cloncurry Prize

The Cloncurry Prize is one of Australia’s richest poetry competitions with a cash prize of $10,000. The competition aims to showcase the essence of outback Australia. The Cloncurry Prize has a $30 entry fee and is open to Australian Citizens, living in Australia with all entries to be assessed by a select panel of judges.

The theme of the 2024 Cloncurry Prize Poetry Competition is ‘Standing on the Shoulders of Giants', through the lens of Outback Australia.

The inaugural Cloncurry Prize launched in 2020 to commemorate the 155th Birthday of Dame Mary Gilmore DBE, who returned to Cloncurry and was laid to rest with her husband in December 1962. The national competition pays tribute to Dame Mary, an Australian writer and journalist known for her prolific contributions to Australian literature and the broader national discourse. She is featured on the Australian $10 note.

The competition launches on 21 March 2024. The competition for 2024 is now closed for judging. The winner will be announced at the Cloncurry Prize Poetry Competition Award Evening held in Cloncurry on 5 July 2024.

2024 Cloncurry Prize Poetry Competition Winners

Congratulations Imogen Batt-Doyle, the 2024 Cloncurry Prize Poetry Competition winner. Her poem embraced this year’s theme, “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants’, by reflecting on the Dreamtime, the spirits that roam the Outback and her personal connections to the land.

Congratulations also to this year’s Runner Up, Tim Loveday, with his poem The Pact.

Message from Imogen Batt-Doyle, 2024 Cloncurry Prize Winner

Congratulations! These poems have made the Top 50 in the 2024 Cloncurry Prize Poetry Competition. The next installment will be the annoucement of the winners, at an awards ceremony in Cloncurry on Friday, 21 June 2024. For more information about the awards evening, please click here

Top 50 - 2024 Cloncurry Prize Poetry Competition

*Please note, there is not particular order to the poems listed.

  • Towering Hill
  • Viri sanguinun terrae+
  • Standing on the Shoulders of Giants
  • On the Eve of the Night
  • The Outback Doctor
  • Imprints of Our Ancestors
  • A Whip Across His Shoulder
  • On the Shoulders of Giants
  • Some Giants Wore Petticoats
  • By Saddle or Sea
  • On the Shoulders of Giants
  • Grazing Giants of Yesteryear
  • Voices in Time
  • Titans of Terra Australia
  • Echoes Down the Line
  • Standing on the Shoulders of Giants
  • Standing on the Shoulders of Giants
  • Love Like a Mountain
  • A Giants Dream
  • Hi Granny
  • Kurrkalnga Puli
  • The Essence of the Outback - Giants Hearts and Giant Hopes
  • Standing on the Shoulders of Old Timers
  • The Pact
  • The Giants of Country School Teaching
  • Out Giant's Legacy
  • The Eyes of an Ant
  • On the Shoulders of Giants
  • Standing on the Shoulders of Giants
  • Ode to the ANZACS
  • Voice
  • Giants
  • Through the Lens of Lawson
  • Wild Words
  • The Cyle of the Southern Land
  • The Women Left Behind
  • On Those Giants Shoulders
  • These Other Giants
  • Generations
  • The True Heroes
  • Eight Seconds
  • We of the Living Well
  • Land of My Birth
  • Dreamers and Drovers
  • The Burning Centre
  • Homework
  • Laprinta (Red Dirt Dreaming)
  • Those Who Came Before Us
  • The Auctioneer

Junior Cloncurry Prize Poetry Competition

The Junior Competition is open to Queensland school aged individuals with a cash prize of $250. Entry is free. The competition is now closed for 2024.

Junior Prize Winners 2024

The winners of the 2024 Junior Cloncurry Prize Poetry Competition are:

Our judges were so impressed by all the entries. Congratulations to everyone who entered their poem in this year's competition, your creativity and writing skills wowed us.


  • Allan Cooney

  • Brenda-Joy Pritchard

  • Penny Lane

Key Dates
  • Entries open: 21 March 2024 at 9:00am AEST
  • Entries close: 3 May 2024 at 11.45pm AEST
  • Longlisting (selection of the top 50 entries): between 10 May 2024 and 20 May 2024
  • Shortlisting (selection of each judge’s top three entries): between 22 May 2024 and 4 June 2024
  • Final judging: between 5 June 2024 and 9 June 2024
  • Prize announcement: 5 July 2024

Cloncurry Prize

First prize - $10,000
Runner Up - $1,000


Junior Competition

First prize - $250
Second prize - $150
Third prize - $100

Entries must be submitted observing the following formatting and stylistic elements:

  • Each entry must be a Microsoft Word document (.doc or .docx) or PDF (.pdf);
  • The document file name should be the title of the poem only
  • Entries must be a single poem of no more than two pages written in English. Pages must be numbered.
  • Entries must be typed in Calibri or Times New Roman font, no smaller than size 11
  • All stanza breaks must be clearly spaced
  • The poet’s name should not appear anywhere in the document body unless it is relevant to the work (entries are judged anonymously)

The theme of the Cloncurry Prize Poetry Competition in 2024 is 'Standing on the Shoulders of Giants', through the lens of Outback Australia.

Longlisting Criteria (Top 50)

  • Theme Relevance – Standing on the Shoulders of Giants, through the lens of Outback Australia = 60%
  • Form – word choice, commas, stanzas = 20%
  • Language – choice of words, and order is precise = 20%

Shortlisting criteria (Top 10)

  • Theme Relevance – Shoulders of Giants, through the lens of Outback Australia = 60%
  • Form – word choice, commas, stanzas = 15%
  • Language – choice of words, and order is precise = 15%
  • Legacy – timelessness of Poem = 10%

The competition Terms & Conditions contain valuable information including key dates, eligibility and formatting. A copy of the Terms & Conditions can be found HERE.

Scott Morrison

I am delighted that Cloncurry Shire Council has initiated the ‘Cloncurry Prize ~ Spirit of Outback’ Poetry Competition.

Dame Mary Gilmore was my great-great aunt. She was a beloved family member, and a source of pride - for her poetry and her place as a voice of our people. 

When I see her wise face looking out from our $10 notes, I imagine her surveying modern Australia with wonder, and I suspect with a few helpful suggestions. 

Much of what she spoke for has come to pass, so much of what she valued remains, and so much of our nation's promise has been fulfilled. I can't think of a better place than Cloncurry, where Aunt Mary rests with her husband William, to uncover the next bard of Australia, whoever she or he may be. 

Australia is an ancient land of stories that reach back for millennia. The rich oral and visual imaginings of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, the poems of colonial Australia, and the verse that grew from our developing nation reflect the epic narrative of our history. In times of trouble and challenge, these are the stories we turn to for comfort and hope. 

The stories of Australia come from the city and the bush. They are made in the past and the present. They are our beacon for the future. They are the words of our national spirit, which transcends politics, religion, ethnicity or capital. Aunt Mary wrote once 'I see the world as one'. It's my belief that true poetry comes from that vision and brings people together. 

Our poets tell our stories and show us who we are. Sometimes, as the days race by, we forget to stop and listen to those voices. I'm grateful to the people of Cloncurry who have endured so much in recent years, for encouraging us to change that - to hear our stories anew and celebrate the spirit they represent. 

The Hon Scott Morrison MP
Prime Minister of Australia

September 2020

For media enquires, please contact Council's Media and Public Relations Officer on 07 4742 4100 or

For general enquires, please contact Council's Events and Activities Coordinator, Deborah Fenton, on 07 4742 4100 or

2023 Cloncurry Prize Poetry Competition Winners

Remembering Mary ~ Penny Lane

Runner Up
Heroes of Yesterday ~ Tom McIlveen

Third Place
Unsung Heroes ~ David Campbell

Highly Commended
The Women of the Outback ~ Bronwyn Blake

Outback Legend of the Sky ~ Barry Desailly

2023 Cloncurry Prize Poetry Junior Competition Winners

First Place
Where Outback Heroes Roam ~ Mateo Leclerc

Second Place
Outback Heroes Live Forever ~ Eloise Brown

Third Place
In the Heart of the Outback ~ Jayden Sherwood