17 December 2018 Cheiban Elaro   | News | Year 11   Extra-Curricular  
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Mrs Lea mentioned the Teachers Federation writing competition and strongly encouraged me to enter. I then ran the idea past my parents and they also encouraged me to enter it. At the time, my mind was not about winning, but it was the idea of participating and doing more external competitions, which I really enjoyed.

Of course, I would be competing against people who are also good writers and since this was an open competition about the theme of "Teachers Make a Difference", I believed that there would’ve been a lot of entries in an essay format. I also knew that many entrants would write poems. Finally, I took up the challenge and wrote this "epic" poem while I was busy with my Trials preparation.

My friends and teachers were inspiring me to write an epic poem. An epic poem has a distinctive form which allowed me to include some of my research into the journey of the history of Teachers Federation. I thought the epic form was suitable to reflect the long struggle of the Federation for better education of children. But I needed the appropriate vocabulary and tone for the epic structure.  I looked into epics such as the Odyssey and Beowulf which provided me with the register for the poem, but the research also made me realise how different my choice of words could be.

Imagine my surprise when I received an email notification from the NSW Teachers Federation about my submission. I opened it and got the news that I was one of the winners. It was an exciting and surreal moment for me. I was particularly pleased to uphold the school’s Bushy Spirit and to be part of something new and challenging in the area of arts and literature.

Finally, I would like to thank my English teacher Ms Hasham anf Mrs Lea for identifying my hidden talent and encouraging me to enter the competition.

Here is an excerpt from my poem, "Teacher":
"But there were those who were callous in the Capital city.
who would fight her with all the weapons at their disposal.
They did not believe, as she did, that children of Australia deserved a better education.
In the corridors of power, she defied the guardians of the Higher authority and
she challenged that loathsome Monster, Budget cuts,
For water bubblers and air-conditioning in demountables."

By Darshan Neshabalan, Year 11