Aasha’s winning words

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Dream win: Poetry prize recipient Aasha Rahman. Photo: Kitty Beale

Aasha Rahman has a way with words.

The Year 5 student at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Primary Waterloo has won first prize in the Assisted Learning Primary section of the 2015 Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards.

Aasha, an English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EALD) student who also speaks Bengali, deftly wove similes, metaphors, onomatopoeia and other figurative language into her winning poem titled My Life.

“I was surprised,” she said. “I didn’t really think it was going to be me who won.  The next morning when I woke up I told my Mum I had a dream that I won first prize in a poetry competition and she said ‘You did’!”

“I like stories and poetry. I like fairytales because when you write them the pictures go through your mind and make you feel happy.”

Aasha said she would like to be a teacher or doctor one day. Her poem focused on emotions common to all people including sadness and joy.

“I went from darkness to light,” she said. “Sometimes we have bad moments, like when I get annoyed, when I get angry, when I get sad, and sometimes we have good moments like when we go places and have a giggle.”

Aasha said school was one of the places that made her happy. “There are people I know and friends I like and the teachers are all really nice,” she said.

Aasha’s prize includes $400, a trophy, a collection of books and a trip to the competition’s national presentation ceremony in Gunnedah in September.

Door opens to success

Dorothea Mackellar Prize judge and author Corrine Fenton congratulated Aasha and had the following comment about her work:

“There were many poems which used the theme of the open door, but in this poem Aasha has made it personal. From darkness and despair she moves to a joyous place, lighting her heart . . . and her door is open.”

Read the poem below.


My Life

The sky is full of darkness.

Dark clouds surround me.

People cry.


The streets are empty.

The shops shut down.

It is dark like a black cat.

People are sad like crying babies.


BANG! My heart is lit blooming with red.

Joy is here.

I laugh again.

My door is open.

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