The Winton Tourist Promotion Association (W.T.P.A.) was formed in October
1967, and because of the connection to Banjo Paterson and Waltzing Matilda, it
was a natural concept to look at ways to encourage the writing of traditional
Australian verse that was made so popular by A.B. "Banjo" Paterson, Henry
Lawson etc. which is so much a part of our Australian heritage.
At that time, Winton had a number of residents writing and/or interested in
Australian Bush Poetry.
In 1970, led by Bruce Simpson, these poets wrote and produced "Matilda
Matilda", a local booklet commemorating the 75th anniversary of A.B. 'Banjo'
Paterson's writing of "Waltzing Matilda" in the Winton district. This booklet
proved so popular, that the W.T.P.A. decided to run an annual national
competition for written Australian Bush Verse, with the prize to be a Silver
Miss Daphne Mayo, a famous Australian sculptress who had completed the
famous fibre-cast swagman for the Winton Shire in 1959, was approached to
create a swagman statuette to be used as a trophy.
In 1971, Miss Mayo was given permission to proceed with the statuette, but
because of the high cost of silver, the swagman was cast in bronze instead, and
a tradition was born.
Our most sincere thanks must go to Bruce Forbes Simpson, and his secretary,
local bush poet Clover Nolan, for their dedication - not only at the beginning in
1972 - but for some years following during the rapid expansion of interest in
what became known world-wide as the Bronze Swagman Award.
Countless volunteers over the 40 years have donated their time and effort
without thought of remuneration and recognition to ensure that the Bronze
Swagman award achieved this anniversary...... THANK YOU to everyone!
The Bronze Swagman Award 2006 Winner at the Australian Bush Laureate Awards "Judith Hosier Heritage Award"