2021 Blak Ink Poetry Contest Winners

The Judges.

All three judges are Roebourne born Aboriginal woman who are stolen generation members, adopted into loving families that partly compensated for their loss of connection with their blood families, language, country and a lore and cultural context for childhood.
Throughout their lives they have been surrounded by creative people of different races in different mediums, as they would have been in a different way, if not taken away.

They all loved reading the poems and discussing them over a cuppa.

The judging panel was elected by John McBain, Chairperson of ANTaR WA and a member of ANTaR’s National Campaigns and Advocacy Council.

A founding member of WA Poets Inc who has performed at Poet’s Corner, Poetry Slams and WA Spring Poetry events, he has seen his own poetry evolve from expressing anger and frustration towards humour and reflection as part of his own personal growth and healing.

A personal highlight is his bush poetry style “Baby Brenda” for and about Lois Olney being turned into a song often performed by Lois and guitarist Dave Johnson.

Lois Olney

Lois is an acclaimed musician, artist and actress who has written poetry and some of her songs. With the David Ngoombujarra Star (RIP) and John McBain she read some of John’s poems at the State Library during the 2008 Launch of the WA Spring Poetry Festival and National Poetry Week. Lois loves many types of creative expression including preparing healthy fresh food for others – always ‘cooked with love’.

Lois Olney is a committee member of prize sponsor ANTaR WA and was an MC for the 2010 and 2011 WA Poets events ‘Cultural Connections’ at Yirra Yaakin and The Bakery.

Lorraine Bobby

Lorraine is a cultural woman who presently lives in Perth, caring for her three teenagers – a daughter and two sons.

She loves her regular trips up north to Country, catching up with family, enjoying their local foods and speaking language.

Rachel Mason

Rachel is a graduate of AbMusic in Perth and last year took part in song writing workshops in Roebourne as part of the Freedom Concert in 2020 where she also performed.

Performing on Country with a mixture of local family members and some of WA’s top musicians re- inspired her passion for music and she has recently started intuitively composing music without being able to read it.

Like Lois, Rachel loves music for its capacity to entertain an audience and for the personal healing and growth it gives to her.

The Winners:

Jack Davis Memorial Prize

Winner                                    Black by Trevor Ryan

Second Prize                           Numbfounded by Barbara Hostalek

Aunty Josie Boyle Memorial Prize

Winner:                                   Djet Wildflowers by Megan Ugle

Second Prize                           The sea of demise by Stephanie Morton

David Starr Memorial Prize

Winner                                   Clutter by Olivia Slater

Second Prize                           Callouses by Kathryn Gledhill-Tucker

Jack Davis Memorial First Prize


Without black, no colour has any depth
Look at my skin, do not disconnect

Welcome the beauty and reflect?
Am I being too direct… for you to connect?

Or should I say, look at me all shiny and black
Did someone say, “that’s calling the kettle black”?

Did I just criticize someone for being black?
No matter how much you try to deny it, you will always be black

Look at my skin, the pigment is so rich from my kin
So proud to be of this skin

To never pretend to act as if it is a sin
Welcome the beauty as if we were twins

Am I being too direct again… for you to connect?

Or do you see the colour black as something that is incorrect

Or maybe it is too impossible to be understood to show some respect
Or are you looking from a distance and judging to try to accept

Black is that mystery that I define
To choose and to entwine

As I keep questioning myself from within, should I be kind
With all of these emotions that I confine?

Trevor Ryan

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Jack Davis Memorial Second Prize


Shudduppa ya face!
You should know the science but
All them ‘doctormobs’ got one.

You’re more likely to get it
From someone you know
You know?

Wouldn’t be the first, prick!
Roll up!

Stop killing the old, the young the weak.

Shut your hole.

Don’t want to die with custard lungs.

Shudduppa ya face!

Barbara Hostalek

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Aunty Josie Boyle Memorial First Prize

Djet Wildflowers

We are here
our being

see us
our beauty

smell us
our spirit

hear us
our heart

touch us
our power

taste us
our flow

feel us
our energy

our spirit
our force

we are here now
forever waiting

for you

Megan Ugle

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Aunty Josie Boyle Memorial Second Prize

The sea of demise.

As he swallowed the Devils elixir,
He heard the demons lies,
He sat in his sorrow, on his ship of past hope,
And sailed the sea of demise.
He inhaled the air of the dark princes’ pipe,
And his body paid for the price.
As his dreams sailed past, with his life in the mast,
For the devil had gotten him twice.
His lungs full of tar, he sat back at the bar,
With a goblet of rum in his hand,
His head turned sour like a scored wrenches heart,
He drank ‘til he could no longer stand.
Slowly he weltered through spirit and health,
the smoke and the drink took its toll.
He loved not one other, for the rum had his heart,
And the devil had taken his soul.
The End

Stephanie Morton

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David Starr Memorial First Prize


Precious little things
Collated treasures
Curated bundles of dusty leaves
Wood and clay
Stones and shells
Dried flowers and feathers
Nestled between plants and baskets

These aren’t trinkets
Or knickknacks
Or junk
They’re domestic altars
Tiny shelf temples
Priceless pieces of memory
From where her heart goes when she’s tired

Ready to fill a few blue biscuit tins
Labelled and left behind when she is no more
Solitary inheritances
Lonely little legacies

Olivia Slater

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David Starr Memorial Second Prize


A deep wound runs from clavicle to sternum
across the melanated chest of this city. Eroded
scar tissue line streets named with colonisers,
white at the edges with sunbleached skin. Faint
veins run networked under terrace houses, invasive
species, emitting machines, choking softly outstretched
towards the cool echoes of its phantom limbs. Lungs
full with generations of air upon air upon resistant
air. Dendritic trees know our DNA, our names, beckon
softly for calloused skin to heal.

Kathryn Gledhill-Tucker

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