Say hello to our Aussie KidLit Poets

In no particular order please say a big hello to…

Dr June Perkins


Dr June Perkins is of Mekeo and Australian background raised as a Baha’i in Tasmania. She now lives and writes in Queensland, often greatly inspired by this setting. She began her poetry performance career performing at the Launceston Poetry Cup, Tasmania, as a teenager. Ten years later she was invited back as a paid performer.  She did not begin writing poetry for children until 2007.

A dedicated advocate for poetry for all ages, especially children and youth, June has initiated and participated in projects where poetry is brought to the people, from a poetry and photography wall in the Cassowary Coast, North Queensland,  in 2007, to an Art Adventure in the Queensland Art Gallery (QAGOMA)  in 2019.  In 2019 she shared poems using puppets and storytelling at the Asia Pacific Triennial. She has written articles on poetry advocacy.

Achievements for Children’s Poetry:

  • Live Stream young Baha’i Writers Youth Endeavour (2019) and Philippines International Literacy Day (2017)
    • Poems for children accepted to Spooktacular Stories & Creative Kids Tale Anthology (2019)
    • Art Adventures in the Gallery, Commissioned work QAGOMA (2018)
    • Several Royal Dragon Fly Awards for Magic Fish Dreaming (2017)
    • Panel exploring poetry for children Queensland Poetry Festival, including Virginia Lowe, Sally Murphy and JR Poulter (2017)
    • Successfully crowd funded, well reviewed, and produced award winning book of poetry for children, Magic Fish Dreaming, Illustrated by Helene Magisson (2016)
    • Ripple Project, established poetry book, library readings, and exhibitions of poetry for and by children with RADF grant (2007)

June’s main poetry blogs are


Kate O’Neil


Kate O’Neil loves reading poetry and fights impostor syndrome to write poems for both children and adults. She lives near the beach at Wombarra in the Northern Illawarra, NSW with her husband and two dogs, Poppy-Houdini and Joey-Leunig. They can be admired from time to time on Facebook. (not the husband).

ACHIEVEMENTS: Poetry for children

Kate’s poems for children have occasionally had success in competitions, and appear in several magazines and anthologies: The NSW School Magazine, The Caterpillar, ‘Let in the Stars’ (anthology of the Manchester Writing for Children prize), Wish Upon a Southern Star (fractured fairy tales ed Shelley Chappell), Happy Poems (ed Roger McGough), ‘The Head that Wears a Crown’ (The Emma Press), ‘Moonstruck’ (ed Roger Stevens – June 2019).

Her ‘Cool Poems: the Kate O’Neil Reciter’ was published in 2018.

Pat Simmons



Pat lives at Thirroul on the NSW south coast with her menagerie of dog, cats and giant burrowing cockroaches. She writes poetry, flash fiction and picture book texts.


Pat won her first poetry competition in 2010 with her poem ‘Mr Pickle’s Pet Shop’ and has since had poems published in a number of anthologies and magazines including School Magazine, Alphabet Soup and Looking Glass magazine.

Rebecca M Newman


Rebecca Newman is a children’s writer and poet. Her poetry has been published by The School Magazine (published by the Ed dept in NSW), at Poetry Tag, and has been exhibited at Paper Bird Children’s Books and Arts (Fremantle, Western Australia). Her latest poem ‘Potion Problems’ will be in an anthology Fire Burn, Cauldron Bubble: Magical Poems Chosen by Paul Cookson, out late in 2019.

Rebecca lives in Perth, Western Australia. When she’s not writing you’ll find her messing about with collage, playing Irish fiddle, or pottering in her tiny kitchen garden.



  • ‘Potion problems’ poem included in Children’s poetry anthology Fire Burn, Cauldron Bubble: magical poems chosen by Paul Cookson (September 2019)
  • ‘How to be an Emu Egg’ framed poem in the Eggshibition Exhibition at Paper Bird Books and Arts, Fremantle, Western Australia (April 2017)
  • ‘Bookmarks’ in The School Magazine: Countdown (March 2017)
  • ‘Body Beat’ in The School Magazine: Countdown (February 2017)
  • ‘Biscuit Bother’ in The School Magazine: Countdown (February 2015)
  • ‘Odd Socks’ in The School Magazine: Blast Off (June 2014)

Teena Raffa-Mulligan



Teena Raffa-Mulligan looks like a responsible adult. Don’t be fooled—it’s a disguise. The real Teena is a kid with a sense of adventure who comes out to play when she’s writing her stories and explores the wonderland of imagination. Teena has been having fun with words for as long as she can remember.  Her publications include poems, short stories, picture books, chapter books and MG novels. Teena’s poems for children have been published in anthologies and magazines, including Countdown, Orbit, Blast Off, Touchdown, Contagious and Little Ears. She has also worked as a journalist and editor. Teena shares her passion for books and writing by presenting author talks and workshops, encouraging people of all ages to have fun playing with words.


My poems for children have been included in the anthologies One Minute Till Bedtime, Celebrate! Reciter, Jabberwocky and Lucky Dip.  They have also featured in The School Magazine (19 poems), The New School Paper, Contagious, Quark and several local WA newspapers.  My poetry collection Sleepy Socks and Sometime Rhymes has just been released. 

Julie Murphy


Julie’s bio and poetic achievements


Julie Murphy writes fiction and non-fiction for children. Her work includes poetry, books, short stories and articles. A former zoologist and zookeeper, Julie most loves writing about animals and the environment. She has 15+ picture books and information books published in Trade and Education markets, in Australia and the USA. Two are in award-winning series. Julie is a voluntary reviewer for the CBCA’s Reading Time web site, a longstanding member of SCBWI and the ASA, and active on social media.

Julie lives in Melbourne with her husband, daughter and big, black dog, Banjo.

Achievements (poetry):

My Australia (2018). Picture book, illustrated by Garry Fleming. National Library of Australia.

“If You See a Seahorse” (2009). In: Book for Fiji – a Gift for the Children of Namara School (anthology). S. Odgers, ed. Independently published.

“Aaargh Cockies!” (2007). In: Around the Block (anthology). Flat Chat Press. Melbourne,Victoria, Australia.

“Ralph the Stick Insect” (2003). In: Husbandry Manual for the Thorny Stick Insect, Ctenomorphodes briareus, 2nd ed. Healesville Sanctuary Discovery and Learning, Victoria, Australia.

“A Platypus’ Predicament” (2002). In: An Australian Treasury of Popular Verse. ABC Books, Sydney, N.S.W. Australia.