Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Our bush poet does it again

St Mary's College staff member Rhonda Tallnash declared Queensland bush poet female champion.

CHALPAT SONTI July 18, 2014 3:38am

St Mary's College staff member Rhonda Tallnash (centre) has had a good run of success in bush poetry competitions recently.

Bush poet extraordinaire Rhonda Tallnash has done it again.

The multi-award winning poet — whose day job is St Mary’s College special needs co-ordinator — struck gold at the Queensland bush poetry state championships recently.

Ms Tallnash, who lives in Violet Town, scored three first places and a third at the event held in Bundaberg, to be declared Queensland female champion.

It followed a similar honour at the annual Corryong championships held during the Man From Snowy River festival (where she was third overall) and a NSW event held at Dunedoo, both in March. She has also been a finalist at the Tamworth Golden Damper in the original and traditional sections.

Ms Tallnash has had seven books published, three of which are out of print after selling out, but is now focusing on performance poetry and education.

‘‘I do school visits and author visits,’’ she said.

‘‘There’s a big awareness of bush poetry especially among older generations who remember learning it at school. The competitions are professional too. It’s pretty full on.’’

At Bundaberg there were three individual judges and performances were strictly timed to eight minutes in length.

The next aim is the NSW championships at Binalong, near Yass, and then the Australian championships at the Corryong festival next year.

But while her performances have now been made into a CD, Ms Tallnash hasn’t forgotten the locals. She also performs at the St Mary’s fundraising auction dinner put on by staff.

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