AHVISE Volunteer Poem Writing Competition: Winners

AHVISE Volunteer Poem Writing Competition: Winners

Our biggest congratulations to Margot and Sharon for submitting their poems!

Stay tuned for our next competition so you can get the kids involved to win prizes!

Check out their winning poems below:

Volunteer Poem Submission: Thargomindah By Sharon Pearson

Volunteer Poem Submission: Frogs By Margot Sanders

AHVISE Volunteer Poem: Frogs By Margot Sanders


The frogs upon the toilet seat
They sit so neat with folded feet
Quiet creatures meek and mild
Don’t look like they’re living wild
But when I visit and create a flush
There is no more quiet and silent hush
Those frogs they slide, they swim and leap
Into the water, into a heap
Arms and legs flying about
Looks like they will all come out
But no – they patiently wait
For the water to stop
And they climb back up onto the toilet seat!!

AHVISE Volunteer Poem: Thargomindah By Sharon Pearson

We headed out west to Thargomindah

Out back where there’s lots of mulga timber.

The family were 6-Mum, Dad, three girls and a boy,

Our first ever AHVISE we were greeted with joy.

The ground was all dust and no rain had fell,

They asked us to help just for a spell.

We jumped right in to see how we’d go,

How can we help? We didn’t really know.

The govvie was keen to show how the kids did,

They all got in and did as were bid.

On air lessons, reading and science,

All done with fantastic compliance.

The kitchen was as busy as a ticking clock,

The heart of the home – as solid as a rock.

But out on the station Mum was needed so much,

So, into the house work I lent my touch.

Each day was as different as chalk and cheese,

Whatever we did, it wasn’t hard to please.

There were poddies to feed hens, pigs, dogs and horses,

If only there was rain, from natures forces.

But no, each promising cloud blew away,

The drought was ongoing – here to stay.

The dust would fly and the men came in each day,

From pulling the mulga and feeding cattle hay.

We said farewell at the end of our time,

And hoped they would have no more hurdles to climb.

We’ve stayed in touch now forever friends,

So that is how our first AHVISE story ends.

How To Enter: AHVISE Volunteer Poem Writing Competition 2.0

Dear Valued AHVISE Community,

We are excited to announce that we will be hosting another competition for our AHVISE Volunteers starting April 1st. This competition, we want you to write us a short poem about your most memorable placement experience along with a picture. Please include your name and where you attended your placement in your email submission.

How to enter:

  • Submit a poem and a picture about your most memorable placement
  • Send it to info@ahvise.org.au (Subject: *NAME* AHVISE Competition Submission *DATE*) or via our AHVISE Facebook Page


  • You must be a registered AHVISE Volunteer for your submission to count.
  • Make sure you ‘LIKE’ the official AHVISE Facebook page
  • The photo must be from your placement or related to the poem.

1st Prize:

  • The winner will receive a $50 gift voucher to the store of their choice
  • They will be featured in our AHVISE Calendar 2020 (April)
  • 1 x interview with AHVISE on our upcoming podcast (optional)
  • 1 x featured blog post

2nd & 3rd Prize:

  • Runner up feature on our AHVISE Facebook Page & blog post

We want everyone to get involved in our competitions as it is really motivating for our AHVISE admin team to see this organisation grow together! We will be sharing the submissions on our blog, facebook & Instagram pages and we will credit people in the captions where appropriate. If you prefer to keep your name anonymous we will respect your privacy, please send us an email notifying us ahead of time. The winners will be announced once the competition closes end of February. Don’t forget to like our official AHVISE Facebook page and we will see you next week for more updates!


AHVISE Experiences: Volunteer Margot

Dear Valued AHVISE Community,

This blog post we are going to share a photo story from one of our wonderful AHVISE Volunteers, Margot. This is her experience on a placement North of Charters Towers, QLD through our program. Enjoy.

Birth of Milkshake calf – This calf was eagerly awaited as the
mother – Mary, had been a poddy calf for the girls a few years earlier. The
tradition in the family is that the name of any calf must start with the
same letter as the mother – hence Mary —- Milkshake (Milkshake was a

Cookies birthday – I had a birthday whilst with the family and the
girls worked for several days before hand on making cards and various
presents. It was a wonderful surprise that morning at breakfast to be
presented with headbands, bracelets, a dreamcatcher made from a horseshoe
and cards. Very thoughtful and caring girls. *( My nick name is Cookie)

Walk with the girls – We went for many walks with the girls after
school and on weekends. They had fantastic imaginations and made up fabulous
stories as we walked. Creepy Gully was one of these special places they had
on the property and in this photo they are in their “kitchen” making “soup”
out of grass/bark/moss/flowers etc.

Cold start to school – The weather did get quite cold for a week
towards the end of June and the girls on this day donned
socks/jacket/dressing gown and obviously Gary was cold as well – note beanie
and jacket. We usually started school outside with a PE session followed by
their spelling/times tables on the decking.

Georgie at the desk – Georgie working on her multi-modal project,
which she received an A for.

Greenvale Campdraft – the mother – Maree was working at the Greenvale Campdraft with 6 other mums. They cooked and served all the meals for 4 days as a fund raiser for the ICPA. The family came as well and Dad drove the truck that delivered the cattle for the Campdraft. So … we went to help out with the meals and enjoyed looking around Greenvale and watching some of the events. It was a crazy 4 days though and we were all REALLY tired when we arrived back home. Great experience and we really admired the commitment of this group of Mums to raise the necessary money for ICPA.

Photo of the cattle – for us these 2 magnificent beasts seem typical of stations in FNQ.

 One of the many walks we did while at Lynden Hills – This dam was just too inviting for the girls to stay out of – the feel of mud between the toes would have been lovely 😊

Love this photo – I would call it “mud boots”.
Obviously, this photo was taken after the previous one – when the girls got out of the dam.

This is Georgie jumping into a small inlet of the dam – just enough water to make a good splash. The 3 girls all tried to make a big splash and this photo just typified the result.

Ravenswood Township – Some weekends we visited local sights and one of
those was the old goldmining township of Ravenswood. We love these quirky
little places and these “models” gave us a laugh.

The Spurdle girls all rode horses regularly and one day Brianna showed
us some of her skills. This was one of them.

This rock was found by Georgie on one of our walks on the weekend on
the family property – to Mt Success. The shape of the rock certainly
encapsulates our feelings of outback Australia and volunteering for isolated

Old cattle yards – Another weekend walk – to the river and looking at
old station ruins. Again this typifies the outback for us, lots of memories
and reminders of boom & bust.

Georgie practising for the long jump event – at home on the
roadway with a board dug into the ground by Gary (Tutor)

Eldest girl Brianna winning the 400M race at the school Athletics.
This was one of a number of events Brianna did well in.

Georgie winning the High Jump event at the school Athletics. Post
story to this photo – Georgie then went on to compete at the regional sports
in Townsville and then another round in Cairns. As she kept winning – she
was selected as part of the Primary School Athletics team that is in
Melbourne as I type this email. She will compete on Monday- 26th Nov –  in
the 10 years high jump. What a story from a girl who has had no formal
training and just practises in the paddock!!

At the end of the Athletics sports the LOTE teachers put on a musical
performance. This was one of the staff members playing a “drum” – an old
tyre covered VERY tightly with clear Packing tape (I think). It made a great
sound too. The things we experience when tutoring – wouldn’t miss it for

Dyvenor Downs Poem by AHVISE Volunteer Sharon

Here is a wonderful poem from our AHVISE Volunteer Sharon from her placement in Dyvenor Downs. This December we will be sharing photos, videos & stories from our AHVISE Volunteers for our competition. We hope you enjoy & thanks Sharon for sharing your experiences with us.

Dynevor Downs

By Sharon Pearson during our VISE placement Oct/Nov 2018

Thargomindah was our destination,

We set out Monday with some hesitation.

Dynevor Downs it said on the map,

What could be hard to find about that.

Head west along the highway it says,

Keep going a long, long, long ways.

Cunnamulla was our overnight stay,

A cosy motel we found on the way.

Next morning we’re out bright and early,

The rest of our trip shouldn’t be too curly.

We arrived at smoko right on the dot,

Greeted with coffee, tea & bickies – the lot.

So into the school room I found my place,

With children all working their lessons to face.

On air was happening the teacher to talk,

No blackboard, bells, rules or chalk.

Just computers, govvie guide and on-air scramble,

The school day time was spent in an amble.

All lessons were over by lunch – a big hooray,

And onto the station with horses to play.

Each day followed calmly in the same vein,

Except Mrs Linda was in quite some pain.

So off to the doctor up Quilpie way,

And over to Roma an overnight to stay.

Mum goes out each day, the ‘woolies’ to find,

They’re up through the mulga – ‘up yonder behind’.

A few today and some more on the morrow,

‘Not all have been gathered,’ she says with sorrow.

Another day out and a few more come clear,

When Saturday comes they’re all there to shear.

They’re all in the pens, the dogs did their job,

The shearers are here to shear the mob.

A buzz round the shed from the shears is heard,

Each shearer with a hand piece is skilfully gird.

By mid-morning they’re done so they tally their score,

Press down the fleeces left on the floor.

Next day is the marking, rams made to wethers,

They missed last year, they’re not light as feathers.

‘Haydo’ lifts sheep including the rams,

Pushing mulga most days, he’s the right-hand man.

Louise does the job, most fellows would do,

She’s adapt at most things, she’s country right through.

One week later we’ve survived all the fuss,

We’ve not been invited to ‘get on the bus’.

“Thank God you are here,” we hear them say,

A little more help in the kitchen today.

Some cooking and cleaning when school is over,

While Mum feeds the weaners but not on clover.

The storm clouds gathered and the air was hot,

Anticipation grew thinking rain was our lot.

The dust rolled in with the wind at speed,

All hands on deck the animals to feed.

The wind races through at alarming pace,

In comes the dust, quick hide your face.

The clouds rolled in quickly, the thunder roared loud,

Then drops or rain from a threatening cloud.

We waited for more but none was in store,

No moisture from dark clouds did eventually pour.

The promise to break this years’ long drought,

Just left all again, the weather to doubt.

I look ‘cross the yard from the workers quarters,

Dan is there guiding his daughters,

On how to break in an untamed horse,

With strength and know-how and patience of course.

Round and round ‘til they face up to you,

Now you can halter and teach trust that’s true.

The V8 is loaded with stock lick to feed,

The cattle way up, we follow the lead.

The bulldust flies high as we make our way,

The water trough lies where the cattle all stay.

The mulga is red from bottom to top,

When will this dry weather turn dry dust to slop?

The boots they wear come up to their knees,

To stop the dirt from getting in (if you please).

Shirts are all long sleeves, they’re very sun smart,

They carry lots of water, they know their part.

Jeans are standard out here on the job,

Especially when mustering and feeding the mob.

We pour out the cotton, urea and seed,

The cattle mill ‘round – they’re glad of our deed.

The kids find their pets and give them a pat,

“Hello old friend,” comes from under a felt hat.

The troughs are fine, now what about calves,

They’re mothers are thin, no wonder they starve.

We find a little one its mothers not found,

It’s laying in the shade making not a sound.

The kids pick it up and put it in the back,

Another poddy calf, we head down the track.

Back to the house with others no doubt,

The toll of this terrible, long lasting drought.

Word comes in that the waters up north,

Are not as reliable as one had thought.

5 days of water are left that’s all,

What do we do? What do we call?

The questions keep flying, how will we cope?

The cattle need water – do we pray or just hope?

The weather map tells of a good lot of rain,

Heading this way will it be the same?

We’ve seen this before and seen it all go,

Slip south or east and bring no river flow.

Too scared to hope, too weary to believe,

We understand how the rain could relieve.

Another day passes and the heat doesn’t stop,

If there’s no reprieve we surely will drop.

The boys on the dozers come in from the heat,

The air con is working they sink to their feet.

‘Twas 42 today they gasp out at last,

I wish this heat wave would hurry go past.

We wake Wednesday morning with grey clouds above,

Do we dare to hope for the rain that we love?

The wind brings it in and there’s a light little patter,

It builds on the tin roof with quite a loud clatter.

By mid-afternoon there’s 10 mls in the gauge,

Will this go down in his-tor-ies page?

The children finish school and run out in the mud,

Oh! what fun this is not a scud.

They kick and scream and roll around,

Enjoying the cool they splash on the ground.

They haven’t seen it for such a long while,

To their faces it has brought such a huge smile.

Days pass by and no promise of rain,

Dust, high temps and wind again.

The dozer leaks oil, it needs a new track,

Quickly fix or mulga the cattle will lack.

The parts can be found in the USA,

Hope they come within a few days.

The school room keeps going at lightning pace,

2 hours of on air, “That lesson was ace”.

All spelling and reading, English and more,

Maths, Science and History assessments to score.

EKindy, year six, year four and year one,

November is here, the years nearly done.

Our days as a VISE have now come to an end,

Back home now we sadly say good bye to new friends.

We’ve loved every minute of our time spent here,

We hope to come back – maybe next year.

Next time no sickness or drought to confront,

Maybe fishes and birds on the lake we could hunt!

Thank you for a wonderful experience Hoch family.

AHVISE Experiences: Volunteer Sharon

Dear Valued AHVISE Community,


This blog post we are going to share a photo story from one of our wonderful AHVISE Volunteers, Sharon. This is her experience on a placement in Dyvenor Downs near Thargomindah through our program. Enjoy.

The old Dyvenor Downs homestead fence.

        The family shooting for Thargomindah council.

A little-orphaned lamb took the children fancy during shearing.
She’s now a ‘poddy lamb’.

Mum joins for a dip with the kids in the waterhole.

‘April’ sneaks some cotton seed from the back of the feed ute!

Myself (VISE) helping with feeding weaners with cotton seed.’ Tickles’ is the white calf and their favourite weaner from last year. It is always the first to come up to them when they come out with feed.

Dan & Lousie making feed troughs for the orphaned ‘poddy calves’ which the children have to feed every morning and night. They make up the milk and clean the feeders each time before school and just before dinner. There were 21 poddies when we left.

On our last night the girls in the family taught their Mum & I the ‘Floss’ dance. I couldn’t master it but Mum got right in there!

All the children made a special dessert on our last night – my favourite Pavlova. They had to try and catch their Dad at Eulo to get some fresh fruit to go on top. They caught him just in time on his way back from picking up some hay at Cunnamulla from one of the generous hay run donations. They got 15 bales and hoped it was going to be good for their stock.

Our new western family including the poddy lamb, and 2 of the 6 new collie pups that ‘Fox’ had three nights before we left. The lawn is a wonderful green oasis to come back to each day for Dan. Louise puts a lot of time into watering it with artesian water.


We love to see our volunteers and families enjoying their placements through our AHVISE program. If you would like to submit your family or volunteer memories with us email info@ahvise.org.au and include your stories, images or videos.