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The Levitt Indigenous Poetry Prize (LIPP)

The Levitt Indigenous Poetry Prize (“LIPP”) is a biennial poetry prize for the best poems on a personal, social or political subject concerning Indigenous Australians or Torres Strait Islanders. 

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ATTENTION ALL LIPP ENTRANTS

The inaugural LIPP Awards was held on Wednesday 15th December 2021 at the Louis Hotel in Lewisham.

Our winners and their entries are listed below.

The next LIPP Awards will be held in 2023.

1st Prize

Anita Johnson

Awarded $10,000

A Child’s Prayer

The first prize winner, Anita Johnson a 69-year-old with her own, anthology of poems on the Colonisation of Australia, based “A Child’s Prayer’ upon, her grandmother’s history as one of the first children to be “stolen” and forcibly removed to a Catholic Aboriginal Mission. She said she is passing on her grandmother’s story through her poem, “A Child’s Prayer.”

1st Prize

Anita Johnson

Awarded $10,000

A Child’s Prayer

The first prize winner, Anita Johnson a 69-year-old with her own, anthology of poems on the Colonisation of Australia, based “A Child’s Prayer’ upon, her grandmother’s history as one of the first children to be “stolen” and forcibly removed to a Catholic Aboriginal Mission. She said she is passing on her grandmother’s story through her poem, “A Child’s Prayer.”

2nd Prize

Christine Dungay

Awarded $6,000

Life Inside

Christine Dungay says their poem, “Life Inside”, is a tribute to her late brother who wrote most of it while incarcerated. She helped him to complete the poem but says that most of the credit should be given to David. Born in 1980, Christine says she and her brother grew up in Burnt Bridge Mission, near Kempsey, NSW with no house and no electricity. They lived off the land.

Christine has started the Dunghutti Youth Group, in honour of her brother’s memory, which has helped many Indigenous youth to go back to school and avoid encounters with the police.

2nd Prize

Christine Dungay

Awarded $6,000

Life Inside

Christine Dungay says their poem, “Life Inside”, is a tribute to her late brother who wrote most of it while incarcerated. She helped him to complete the poem but says that most of the credit should be given to David. Born in 1980, Christine says she and her brother grew up in Burnt Bridge Mission, near Kempsey, NSW with no house and no electricity. They lived off the land.

Christine has started the Dunghutti Youth Group, in honour of her brother’s memory, which has helped many Indigenous youth to go back to school and avoid encounters with the police.

3rd Prize

Brenda Joyce Saunders

Awarded $4,000

Toyota Dreaming

Third prize goes to 85-year-old Brenda Joyce Saunders’ poem, “Toyota Dreaming’. Brenda is part of the Wiradjuri people and of the Stolen Generation. She grew up in Chippendale and Redfern in Sydney’s inner city and has published a book of poems called “In-Land-Sea”

3rd Prize

Brenda Joyce Saunders

Awarded $4,000

Toyota Dreaming

Third prize goes to 85-year-old Brenda Joyce Saunders’ poem, “Toyota Dreaming’. Brenda is part of the Wiradjuri people and of the Stolen Generation. She grew up in Chippendale and Redfern in Sydney’s inner city and has published a book of poems called “In-Land-Sea”

The LIPP
The LIPP
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Entry criteria

All submissions must be respectful and sensitive to the integrity of First Nation Australians (or Torres Strait Islander) people and culture.

There is no age or ethnicity criteria for entries – though contributions by young entrants will be evaluated by taking into account the entrant’s level of maturity and educational development.

The LIPP’s aims are:

to create constructive dialogue between White and Black Australians.

To erode the ‘gap’ that exists between White and Black Australians by creating awareness of the level of inequality that persists.

To focus creatively on solutions to Indigenous disadvantage. 

Class Pr Logo trimmed_

Entry criteria

All submissions must be respectful and sensitive to the integrity of First Nation Australians (or Torres Strait Islander) people and culture.

There is no age or ethnicity criteria for entries – though contributions by young entrants will be evaluated by taking into account the entrant’s level of maturity and educational development.

The LIPP’s aims are:

to create constructive dialogue between White and Indigenous Australians.

To erode the ‘gap’ that exists between White and Indigenous Australians by creating awareness of the level of inequality that persists.

To focus creatively on solutions to Indigenous disadvantage. 

The LIPP
The LIPP
The LIPP
The LIPP
The LIPP
The LIPP

Terms & Conditions

*All entrants and contributors must warrant that they own the copyright in their own work and must ordinarily be residents of Australia.

*All entrants and contributors will need to sign a non-exclusive Copyright licence to publish and/or reproduce their works for the LIPP, which is being run as a not-for-profit enterprise.

Terms & Conditions

*All entrants and contributors must warrant that they own the copyright in their own work and must ordinarily be residents of Australia.

*All entrants and contributors will need to sign a non-exclusive Copyright licence to publish and/or reproduce their works for the LIPP, which is being run as a not-for-profit enterprise.

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The LIPP Edition

An anthology of the best 100-150 entries from the previous award period will be published in the biennial LIPP Edition, by Saray Holdings. The net sale and sponsorship proceeds will be given to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, or another registered charity, established specifically for the advancement of Indigenous Australians. 

Artists are invited to submit works with subject matter relevant to a personal or political subject concerning Indigenous Australians &/or Torres Strait Islanders. A selection of works will be exhibited in a venue to be confirmed.

Class Pr Logo trimmed_

The LIPP Edition

An anthology of the best 100-150 entries from the previous award period will be published in the biennial LIPP Edition, by Saray Holdings. The net sale and sponsorship proceeds will be given to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, or another registered charity, established specifically for the advancement of Indigenous Australians. 

Artists are invited to submit works with subject matter relevant to a personal or political subject concerning Indigenous Australians &/or Torres Strait Islanders. A selection of works will be exhibited in a venue to be confirmed.

The LIPP Judges

Joshua Creamer

Joshua Creamer is a lawyer who specialises in class actions and native title. As he is Waanyi and Kalkadoon, he has a personal affinity and interest in protecting the rights of Indigenous groups. This is demonstrated by his appearance in the landmark class actions, Wotton v State of Queensland [2016] FCA 1457 (‘The Palm Island Case’) and Pearson v State of Queensland (No 2) [2020] FCA 619 (‘Stolen Wages Qld’). The first being Australia’s first and largest racial discrimination case and the latter the nation’s largest human rights case.

Douglas Campbell

Douglas Campbell QC is a Barrister based in QLD. His primary areas of practice include Civil & Human Rights & Discrimination law, Commercial Law, Personal Injury Law, Property Law and Trade Practices & Competition Law.

Mr Campbell has acted for a number of aboriginal communities including:

  • the Hope Vale and Wujal Wujal aboriginal communities in the mediation of the aboriginal underpayment of wages claims;
  • the Hope Vale Aboriginal Shire Council in an administrative review application seeking a new grantee of the Hope Vale Deed of Grant of Land in Trust;
  • the Kowanyama and Aurukun Shire Councils in an administrative review relating to a liquor licence; and
  • a number of parties (including the Hopevale Aboriginal Shire Council) in a Federal Court application under the Judicial Review Act to set aside the registration of an ILUA at Hopevale.

Megan Krakouer

Megan Krakouer is both a lawyer and the Director of National Suicide Prevention and Trauma Recovery Project. She has a long history of working alongside the most vulnerable and the Indigenous community. A highlight of her career is her contribution to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, for which Krakouer has now turned her focus to calling for a Royal Commission into Child Removals.

Bibi Barba

As an Aboriginal artist, Bibi Barba is inspired by her Grandmother’s storytelling and her love of the land. Barba’s colourful work captivates a sense of vivid storytelling by blending traditional indigenous design with contemporary and innovative colour combinations.

Speaking fondly about her childhood Bibi says, “Every Sunday night, we’d go to Nan’s for dinner, and she would tell us stories of her life. She would say, ‘you have to go back home. Go home and get the feeling for your country. Feel it. Paint it’.”

Martina Hazelbane

Martina Hazelbane is a proud Larrakia/Warai traditional owner from the Northern Territory and the Principal Consultant in her 100% indigenous owned consulting business ‘Stapleton Indigenous Consulting’ (SIC) She is also the proud founder and CEO of the ‘Indigenous Road Safety Academy’ (IRSA).

Martina is a fearless leader who prides herself on working cross culturally to achieve outcomes in the most difficult of circumstances especially in the areas of social justice and Indigenous empowerment.

Martina previously devoted fifteen years to a social justice career advocating for the rights of indigenous people across the Northern Territory whilst working in both leadership and management roles at the ‘North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency’ (NAAJA) as Practice Manager in their Darwin office and Office Manager in their Alice Springs office.

Martina is dedicated to making sure Aboriginal people had access to high quality culturally appropriate legal services and prided herself on her exceptional management, leadership, organisational, stakeholder engagement, mentoring, and cross-cultural skills.

Martina is a very well-regarded leader who leads her team by example and is a great mentor for younger Indigenous people.

Martina ensures Aboriginal people get the highest quality culturally appropriate service and over the years Martina has trained a large number of Aboriginal people. She is multi skilled and self-motivated and has an extensive understanding of Aboriginal culture

In 2019 she won the NATSILS – Attorney General’s national coveted female ‘National Trevor Christian Memorial Award’ in recognition of her substantial positive contributions to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community for female leadership in law.

Martina is proud to be the first appointed Indigenous Director on the ‘Carers NT’ board of directors. She is a passionate about ensuring all Aboriginal people caring for their loved ones, family members or friends receive culturally appropriate access to the necessary services to support their caring journey and are treated with dignity and respect they deserve.

She is also the first Indigenous Director at the ‘Brisbane Jazz Club’ where she enjoys making a positive contribution to the Brisbane jazz community through her love of Jazz music.

Tanya Neal

Tanya Neal is a proud Wiradjuri woman and has a long-standing history with the NSW Department of Education. Tanya is currently the Director, Research and Engagement, Aboriginal Outcomes and Partnerships within the NSW Department of Education.

Tanya is extremely passionate and dedicated to Aboriginal education. She has a strong personal commitment to ensure all Aboriginal students have access to a quality and culturally inclusive educational experience within the NSW Public School system in order for them to achieve their educational and lifelong aspirations.

The LIPP
The LIPP
The LIPP