After reading over 5,700 nature poems spanning corroboree frogs, endangered understories and seeds of hope, we're excited to announce the 2022 POEM FOREST Prize Shortlist.

Writing this poem has made me realise how fortunate Australia is to have so many trees in our country. In the darkest of moments I feel alive with the bush surrounding me.
~ Asha H, Year 6, Cheltenham Primary School (VIC)

These 80 outstanding poems come from students and teachers in every corner of the continent. Their voices are full of wonder and honour for the natural world as well as fierce calls for climate action. We trust you'll be as inspired by these voices as we are, each poem helping to grow the POEM FOREST at the Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan.

Congratulations to every shortlisted poet, and a huge thanks to every poet who has helped us plant thousands of seedlings.

Shortlisted poems

Lower Primary (F/K-Y3)

'The magic box' by Caleb D, Year 3, Gladesville Public School (NSW)
'The Lush Green Meadow' by Alice S & Maya M, Year 3, Templestowe Park Primary School (VIC)
'Flowers In The Field Of The Future' by Angel A, Year 3, Holy Trinity Primary School (ACT)
'The Sun Conure' by Adele B, Year 2, Morphett Vale East School (SA)
'The Throne' by Sienna A, F/K, George Street Primary School - Hamilton (VIC)
'The Magic Faraway Tree' by Vienna H, Year 3, Subiaco Primary School (WA)
'The Melbourne Beach' by Sophie H, Year 3, Auburn Primary School (VIC)
'Many Monkeys' by Ophelia S, Year 2, St Martin de Porres School (SA)
'Tigers' by Nguyen V, Year 3, Fitzroy North Primary School (VIC)


Upper Primary (Y4-Y6)

'Hope' by Toby R, Year 5, New Lambton South Public School (NSW)
'The life giving' by Joshua P, Year 6, Matthew Flinders Anglican College (QLD)
'The desert night' by Mailee A, Year 5, Ross Park Primary School (NT)
'Remember' by Adele L, Year 5, Westgarth Primary School (VIC)
'Frogs' by Alexis D, Year 6, Calrossy Anglican College - William Cowper Campus (NSW)
'A Sunset Reverie' by Ilyas J, Year 6, West Coast Steiner School (WA)
'The good mountain' by Harvey F, Year 6, St Patrick’s Primary School (VIC)
'Harmony Intertwined' by Sydney S, Year 6, Glenaeon Rudolf Steiner School (NSW)
'Salmon!' by Sophia V Z, Year 6, Mornington Primary School (VIC)
'Nature in suburbia' by Esther L, Year 5, Neutral Bay Public School (NSW)
'The world is ours' by Rubin D, Year 6, Ross Park Primary School (NT)
'Nan' by Lucy A, Year 5, Fyans Park Primary School (VIC)
'The Floating Flame' by Posie T, Year 5, Launceston Church Grammar School (TAS)
'Moss' by Johanna B, Year 6, Brunswick South Primary School (VIC)
'Pomegranate Tears' by Zahra A, Year 6, Bayanami Public School (NSW)


Lower Secondary (Y7-Y9)

'Bachelor Herd' by Luke C, Year 7, Melba Copland Secondary School (ACT)
'What I want to plant in our garden' by Olivia C, Year 9, Presbyterian Ladies' College (VIC)
'Paperbark' by Rowan K, Year 9, Reddam House (NSW)
'When I look out my window' by Riley G, Year 8, Aspect Hunter School (NSW)
'HUNTED' by Reuben C, Year 8, Marist Regional College (TAS)
'The Last Days of Autumn' by Kareena G, Year 7, Tenison Woods College (SA)
'Blossom Tree' by David N, Year 7, Reddam House (NSW)
'Eternal Dusk' by Alyssa M, Year 7, John XXIII College (WA)
'The Crucible' by Thomas S, Year 7, Brisbane Grammar School (QLD)
'Ngahere Poem' by Harper M, Year 8, Linuwel School Ltd (NSW)
'Our trees, Our life' by Shefali P, Year 7, Girraween High School (NSW)


Upper Secondary (Y10-Y12)

'Penghijraan Ketam Merah - Red Crab Migration' by Ayu S, Year 10, Christmas Island District High School (WA)
'Low Tide' by Miranda G G, Year 12, Marryatville High School (SA)
'garden scraps' by Quinn P, Year 10, Barrett Adolescent Centre School (QLD)
'In the Valley' by Hannah F, Year 10, Kingston High School (TAS)
'Rural Preteen' by Fig R, Year 11, Diamond Valley College (VIC)
'How wonderful life can be' by Freya W, Year 10, Haileybury College (NT)
'The Concrete Jungle Orchestra' by Eleison B, Year 11, Gungahlin College (ACT)
'Lunar' by Stefan M, Year 10, St Leo’s Catholic College (NSW)
'outside the lines' by Inez S, Year 10, Methodist Ladies’ College (VIC)
'Twisted' by Sughi A, Year 10, Riverside Girls High School (NSW)
'The Ocean’s Loving Proximity' by Marylou M, Year 10, St Mary’s Anglican Girls’ School (Inc) (WA)
'the murderer and the murdered' by Syazwani S, Year 10, Hoppers Crossing Secondary College (VIC)


Accredited Teacher

'Late Winter Wattle' by Glenn Mcpherson, Teacher, Broughton Anglican College (NSW)
'Christmas Island Frigatebird' by Kathryn Shortland-Jones, Teacher, Christmas Island District High School (WA)
'Language of Flowers' by Amy Brown, Teacher, Melbourne Girls’ Grammar School (VIC)
'Durring Embrace' by Justin Jones, Teacher, St Joseph's College Banora Point (NSW)
'Night Nature' by Virginia Danahay, Teacher, Berwick Secondary College (VIC)
'bathing in Beeliar - a last remaining remnant' by Belinda Rowe, Teacher, Willetton Senior High School (WA)
'Home' by Adam Mitchell, Teacher, Gladesville Primary School (VIC)
'Visitors' by Melanie Clifton, Teacher, Hills International College (QLD)
'Yowarl' by Veronica Lake, Teacher, Presbyterian Ladies College (WA)


Threatened Species Prize (F-12)

'The Regent Honeyeater' by Aliana W, Year 3, Homeschool (QLD)
'The Red Goshawk' by Mischka A, Year 6, Balmain Public School (NSW)
'The Gilbert's Potoroo' by Lily B, Year 5, Our Lady of Hope School (SA)
'The Speartooth Shark' by Huxley G, Year 2, John Colet School (NSW)
'Strength of the Nightcap Oak' by Thomas H, Year 6, Palmerston District Primary School (ACT)
'The Great Barrier Reef' by Rohin S, Year 6, Ross Park Primary School (NT)
'Corroboree Frog Croaks' by Elka L, Year 6, Palmerston District Primary School (ACT)
'When the rain falls' by Nami K, Year 10, Pittwater High School (NSW)
'a short RAPremand' by Charles O, Year 11, Daramalan College (ACT)
'Birds are where the flowers bloom' by Jamieson M, Year 5, Templestowe Park Primary School (VIC)
'The Trout Cod - Maccullochella Macquariensis' by Oscar M, Year 6, Palmerston District Primary School (ACT)

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The Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan Local Prize (F-12)

'Once Again' by Minh-thi B, Year 8, Macquarie Fields High School (NSW)
'Nature within me' by Milo D F, Year 9, St Patrick’s College (NSW)
'Saying goodbye again' by Manaia I, Year 7, Eagle Vale High School (NSW)
'My Day' by Tatupu P, Year 8, Eagle Vale High School (NSW)
'Little bud' by Oreoluwa A, Year 9, St Patrick’s College Campbelltown (NSW)
'Oh, The Everyday Daisy' by Sarah D, Year 10, Sarah Redfern High School (NSW)


Wollongong Community Greening Local Prize (F-12)

'If the things that I have loved' by Ellie Y, Year 5, Austinmer Public School (NSW)
'Guardian Angel' by Livinia M, Year 5, St Columbkilles Catholic Primary School (NSW)
'Gaia' by English Class 8/1, Holy Spirit College (NSW)
'Thoughts at Flagstaff Hill at Night' by Joshua T, Year 10, Cedars Christian College (NSW)
'Boneyards Beach' by Lucy C, Year 6, Illawarra Christian School (NSW)
'Where Flowers Sleep' by Tully B, Year 5, Port Kembla Public School (NSW)
'Forest' by Jeremy P, Year 7, Woonona High School (NSW)
'Wonder of Antarctica' by Celie S, Year 4, St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School (NSW)

Live-streamed via DART Learning
10am AEDT, Thursday 15 November

Tune in for our live broadcast of the Winners Announcement Ceremony – featuring the announcement of winners and highly commended poems across our eight prize categories, guest poets and nature poem readings, an update from the POEM FOREST seedlings, giveaways and more! Tickets are free but bookings are essential.

POEM FOREST would not have been possible without the support of John B. Fairfax AO, Principal Patron of POEM FOREST and other generous partners.