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University of Canberra Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Poetry Prize

The University of Canberra acknowledges the Ngunnawal people, traditional custodians of the lands where Bruce Campus is situated. We wish to acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and contribution they make to the life of Canberra and the region. We also acknowledge all other First Nations Peoples on whose land we gather.

The 2019 Prize winners were announced at opening night of the 2019 Poetry on the Move Festival. Congratulations to the winners.

First Prize: Kirli Saunders
Second Prize: Ellen Van Neerven
Third Prize: Jessika Spencer

2019 Judges

About the Prize

The University of Canberra Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Poetry Prize was offered for the first time in 2017. It is sponsored by the Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership and Strategy and supported by the Faculty of Arts and Design.

The Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership and Strategy places a particular emphasis on working collaboratively with UC faculties and research institutes to: open more doors to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples; create more opportunities to increase student completion rates; achieve parity in employment; aspire to cultural competency; and build capacity in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research.

Enquiries should be emailed to

Important details

  • The winner will receive AUD$1,500
  • The runner-up (second-placed poem) will receive AUD$700
  • The second runner-up (third-placed poem) will receive AUD$300
  • Winners will receive an invitation to attend an award ceremony and aim to be published in Meniscus (, the literary journal of the Australasian Association of Writing Programs.
  • All poems entered for the prize will be single poems that have a maximum length of 40 lines
  • The competition is open only to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (see the Conditions of Entry for further details)
  • Each entry of a poem will cost AUD$5
  • Entries close at 11:59pm (AEST) Thursday 29 August, 2019.

For More Information

Please feel free to send any questions in regards to the awards to

Judge Biographies

Ali Cobby EckermannAli Cobby Eckermann

Ali Cobby Eckermann’s first collection little bit long time was written in the desert and launched her literary career in 2009. In 2013 Ali toured Ireland as an Australian Poetry Ambassador and won the Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry and Book of the Year (NSW) for Ruby Moonlight, a massacre verse novel. In 2014 Ali was the inaugural recipient of the Tungkunungka Pintyanthi Fellowship at Adelaide Writers' Week, and the first Aboriginal Australian writer to attend the International Writing Program at University of Iowa. In 2017 Ali received a Windham Campbell Award for Poetry from Yale University, USA.

Samia GoudieSamia Goudie

Samia Goudie is a Bundjalung woman, currently Associate Professor of Indigenous Studies in the Faculty of Arts and Design, University of Canberra. As a Fulbright Scholar in 2007, Goudie travelled across the USA, sharing her research on wellness and resilience in Indigenous communities while also delivering workshops on digital storytelling. She has made three documentaries which have been screened in a number of festivals. Goudie has a Masters in Applied Science with a major in Social Ecology from Western Sydney University, as well as diplomas in counselling and natural therapies. Her PhD was called 'Stories of Hope and Resilience'.