Olive Muriel Pink by Colleen Keating, runner up and Highly Commended in SWW competition

At the SWW Gala Luncheon  on Wednesday I was  thrilled to receive two highly commended awards.

The first for my book Olive Muriel Pink, awarded the Highly Commended in the Society of Women Writers Poetry Award 2022

The second is a Highly Commended Award for my poem in the National Womens Writers Competition for Poetry. Giving Women Writers a Voice




After so much research, reflection, writing, editing and critiquing with my poetry groups and later with the publisher Ginninderra Press to bring my epic poem Olive Muriel Pink to the world it has finally been given the Highly Commended Award in the Society of Women Writers Poetry Award: a prestigious award and no small feat as it was up against many deserving books Short Listed.

Congratulations to all who made the short list , and especially big congratulations to the winner, my poet friend Pip Griffin for her well deserved book, The Secret Diaries . Virginia and Katherine.

It is a long lonely journey to get a literary work to this point and everyone deserves the recognition that comes their way this day at this rewarding and affirming Gala Luncheon

A great turnout of many amazing fellow female writers for the Gala Luncheon with the key note address given by researcher and writer Anne Summers. A sobering address in which Anne gave us much of the detail of a recent research paper she has researched and written on  Domestic Violence titled,

≠ Violence or Poverty;

The dire choice faced by nearly half a million women




The  Society of Women Writers NSW   Biennial Poetry Book Awards 2022 

 Highly Commended

Colleen Keating’s Olive Muriel Pink: her radical and Idealistic life.

A poetic journey transforms meticulous research into vivid images 

and crisp, engaging writing, bring to light an extraordinary pioneering 

Australian woman’s life and achievements in this substantial 

biographical poem. 

Colleen Keating’s biographical poem brings to fresh attention, and in a new form the life and work of an extraordinary Australian, an anthropologist, committed to working with and bringing to the awareness of colonial Australia, the deep knowledge and connection to the land of the Warlpiri & Arrernte peoples. During her life, Olive Oink worked to disturb the ‘Great Australian Silence’ about the Aboriginal people and Keating’s engaging work restates and re-envisage this important work for modern day Australians.

This biographical poem is a sustained accomplishment. It is a complete narrative, rich in detail and authenticity that captures not only the board and more nuanced details of Olive Pink’s life, but also the landscapes and people in which /with whom she moved. In addition, the poem is a skilful evocation of the times (including both world wars), of loss, of prejudice, of misogyny, of dedication to a cause /a belief. Always lucid in detail, at times the blank verse lines are like sketches and paintings that Pink loved – accurate, but sparse like the arid desert in which she moved – and imbued with the vivacity and splashes of colour that characterise Australia’s land/outback.

Thank you, Colleen, for the opportunity thread your poetry .It was a privilege. Best wishes with your work in the future.

Dr. Carmel Bendon

Dr. Carmel Bendon is a writer and presenter  on  “all things medieval, “ lives in sydney, Australia. She has a 
phD in MedievalLiterature and lectures in English  literature, Medieval Studies and Spiritual. She is ye author of Mysticism and Space , Grasping at Water and more recently  The Mystics Who Came to Dinner.