Anyone can be a poet

Entries are open for this year’s Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards, Australia’s oldest and largest poetry competition for school-aged children. Entries close on June 30 and the winners will be announced on September 2 as a highlight of National Literacy and Numeracy Week that month. Staff at the federal Department of Education jokingly penned these short verses to encourage students to have a go:

Students can enter,
Even if only an experimenter,
There’s fifty thousand dollars,
To reward our budding scholars.

“Waiting” is this year’s theme,
And it should encourage you to dream,
We had 10,000 submissions in 2015,
More this year we aim to glean.

Visit for details.

Teaching kids to be smart about money

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) has released practical tips and resources aligned to the Australian Curriculum to help parents and educators teach children about money and establish good money habits for life. To date, one-third of schools nationwide have taken up aspects of ASIC's MoneySmart Teaching program and more than 14,000 teachers have been trained to use it, ASIC said. ASIC's MoneySmart Maths, a new online professional development module for primary school teachers, promotes financial literacy as a context for teaching maths as an innovative way to develop essential problem-solving skills. Under the main MoneySmart program, ATM use, supermarket visits, pocket-money, part-time job earnings and mobile phones are some of the everyday items and events used to teach children about finances. Click here for information.

Hear painter-poet Edwin Wilson

Nature walks On April 17, painter and poet Edwin Wilson will give a talk about his Stardust Painter-Poet exhibition at the Lavender Bay Gallery of the Royal Art Society of NSW (Walker Street, North Sydney, walking distance from North Sydney Railway Station. 12.45 pm for 1pm start). This will be followed by an afternoon tea (donation: $30) organised by the David G. Stead Memorial Wild Life Research Foundation as a fundraiser. For those who would like to stay longer, there will be a guided walk to the nearby Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden. For bookings, ring Margaret Kitson on (02) 9498 7608.Edwin Wilson spent his formative years growing up at Mullumbimby, on the NSW North Coast. It was his love of native orchids that led him to have a distinguished career working in science and botany.

Paddy Pallin Walk

On Sunday, April 24, the Paddy Pallin Walk in Lindfield walk will focus on the achievements of Paddy Pallin and his bushwalking conservation movement. Meet at Lindfield Railway Station ticket office at 9.45am for a 10am start, finishing at noon. There’s no cost but bring a hat, water, a snack and wear good walking shoes. Call Janine Kitson on (02) 9498 2402 or 0428 860 623.