Young writers recognised at Fresh Words Young Writers Awards Ceremony

The City of Casey announced the winners of the 2024 Fresh Words Competition at a special awards ceremony at Bunjil Place on Wednesday 19 June.

Young writers from across Casey were joined by their families, teachers, principals and teaching staff to honour and celebrate their incredible achievements.

The Fresh Words Competition is open to students from Grade 5 to Year 12 who reside, work or study in Casey. Students could submit entries across three categories: Creative Writing; Poetry and Lyrics; and English as an Additional Language (EAL).

City of Casey Chair of Administrators Noelene Duff PSM said the Fresh Words competition aims to enhance the self-esteem of young people by recognising their creativity.

“The competition also gives young people the opportunity to develop their writing skills and showcase their creativity,” she said.

“This year’s Fresh Words competition saw a surge in participation, with an impressive 190 entries across the Creative Writing and Poetry and Lyrics categories. Unfortunately, the EAL category did not receive enough entries for awards.”

Ms Duff congratulated the 18 winners and thanked all students for entering the competition.

“I would also like to thank the distinguished panel of six judges, who are all highly regarded experts in poetry, spoken word and creative writing, for meticulously shortlisting and judging the entries,” she said.

“The judging panel were incredibly impressed by the creative talent on display.”

Master of Ceremonies for the evening was Poet and FReeZA Committee member Senuli Wikramasinghe. Those in attendance were also treated to an inspiring talk from guest speaker Ren Allesandra, who is an award winning spoken word artist, literary judge and educator. The awards ceremony also included a performance by indie/folk/pop singer-songwriter Zak Gully.

Award winners

Creative Writing Category

Grade 5-6

First Place: Georgie Jones Pieterson with “The Piebald Pony” (BeaconHills College, Pakenham).

Merit Award: Ethan Manning with “Block-E” (Kilberry Valley Primary School).

Encouragement Award: Manasvi Prakash with “The Hot Food Family” (Oatlands Primary School).

Year 7-9

First Place: Methuki Bogahapitiya with “Time to Read a New Book” (Nossal High School).

Merit Award: Yusuf Md Alauddin with “The Serenity Glade” (Alkira Secondary College).

Encouragement Award: Bobby Bhatia with “The Daring Drop Down” (Nossal High School).

Year 10-12

First Place: Lale Peri Yildirim with “The Apogee” (Alkira Secondary College).

Merit Award: Tashi Mallawa with “The Glittering City” (Nossal High School).

Encouragement Award: Khushi Thakar with “Dolls” (Narre Warren South P-12 College).

Poetry/Lyrics Category

Grade 5-6

First Place: Isabelle with “A Thousand” (St Margaret Berwick Grammar).

Merit Award: Elbert Yuze Ma with “The Beast of the Sea” (St Margaret Berwick Grammar).

Encouragement Award: Evelyne Ong with “Lying” (Homeschool).

Year 7-9

First Place: Amna Bilal with “Mother Bird” (Nossal High School).

Merit Award: Almira Hafiz with “We are all Unique” (Clyde Secondary College).

Encouragement Award: Bobby Bhatia with “For in Dadi’s (Grandma’s) Kitchen”, (Nossal High School).

Year 10-12

First Place: Megan Phoon with “Please Remember” (Nossal High School).

Merit Award: Anvi Sharma with “A Consumer of the Past” (John Monash Science School).

Encouragement Award: Luke Mu with “The Dreaded Fields of Red” (St Peter’s College Cranbourne).

Caption for photo: 2024 Fresh Words Competition winners and recipients of the Merit Award and Encouragement Award.

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