Robyn bakes a Golden Damper

Binalong’s champion bush poet, Robyn Sykes, has returned from the Tamworth Country Music Festival with a Golden Damper award, the bush poetry equivalent of a Golden Guitar.

The competition involved three mornings of heats, building to a final on Australia Day.

Two Golden Dampers were on offer: traditional/established and original. Our local poet was selected in the finals for both categories, winning the traditional/established and placing third in the original.

“The Golden Damper is a great competition and I’m delighted the judges were kind enough to select me as a winner,” the former managing editor of the Yass Tribune said.

“I hadn’t been to the Country Music Festival before and there was a lot to learn. There’s so much bush poetry around in Tamworth… it was a great experience. I certainly hope to go again.”

Robyn’s fellow member of the Wombat Pub Poets, John Peel from Tumut, won the original section. The Wombat Pub Poets meet 7-9pm on the last Sunday of every second month, beginning in February.

Locals who have not yet had the chance to see Robyn in action will also be able to catch the Binalong Bard at the Yass Show, where she will MC the Poets’ Breakfast and Poetry Competition on Sunday March 17, St Patrick’s Day from 8.30am at the Sports Stadium.

The inaugural Yass Show Poetry Competition has both adult and junior, written and performance categories and boasts cash prizes for first, second and third in each section, plus incentives for local entrants. There will also be a special award at the Poets’ Breakfast for the best performance of a poem relating to St Patrick’s Day.

Entry forms for the competition can be obtained at or by emailing or by sending a SSAE to Yass Show Poetry Competition, PO Box 100, Binalong NSW 2584.

Robyn Sykes has taken out another top poetry prize, the Golden Damper.

Robyn Sykes has taken out another top poetry prize, the Golden Damper.