The competition, which began as a therapy exercise for returned veterans at the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital, is now open to current and ex-servicemen and women (including National Service, Peacemakers and Peacekeepers), their spouses, widows, eligible children and grandchildren (over the age of 18), who reside in Victoria. It is a joint initiative of Victorian ex-service organisations, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital. SWAC also receives generous sponsorship from the corporate and community sectors.
Each year the Competition provides members of this community with an excellent opportunity to develop and apply their creative skills and have their stories and other artistic endeavours publicly acknowledged. It is a small competition with five different categories for writing: True War Time Experience, True Life Experience, Fiction, Poetry and a special writing category which changes each year. This year the topic is “Australian Spirit – at home and abroad”. Entries are limited to 3000 words. All our judges are volunteers to this not for profit competition. Entry into the competition is free. Prizes are given across all categories along with novice awards in the writing categories. Stories must be received by 31 July and are sent to the judges soon after. Each of the writing judges (there are five) are required to have returned a list of winners in the first week of September. This can be done in writing or by email.
The following members of the ex-service community residing in Victoria are eligible to enter the competition:
- current and ex-service personnel of the Australian Defence Forces
- ex-service personnel of countries that were allied to Australia during past wars or war-like conflicts
- veterans of Australian Peacekeeping or Peacemaking Missions.
- all spouses, widows and widowers, children and grandchildren of the above, aged 18 and over
- children who are DVA beneficiaries and are aged of 18 and over (this includes Veterans’ Children Education Scheme recipients)
- the work of a deceased member of the ex-service community may be entered by family or a friend (acknowledging the name of the original artist/author).
See the competition rules and categories section below to find out more about the conditions of entry.