2023 My Place Competition
2023 My Place Competition - Read The Winning Entries
Equal 1st Prize
Special Education
Taylah, Fahan School (TAS)

Taylah’s Toys

My favourite toy is my peacock.

This was my favourite toy when I was little. Then I let my sister, Chloe have it.

This was my mum’s favourite toy when she was little.

This was my dad’s counting eggs. It was his favourite toy when he was little.

Buddy is my dog. This is his ball. It squeaks. He likes to play with it.

Equal 1st Prize
Special Education
Shamus, Morphett Vale East School (SA)

Old Toy Story

Car door slams “Hey Jess,” said Steven. “I bet this house is old inside!” They reluctantly step inside. Creak! “Yep, it’s definitely old,” said Jess. “Really, really old, you must mean,” said Steven. “Ew? Look at that doll, it’s old and creepy. Also, this house smells weird too, I don’t like it at all.”

Steven and Jess worked for the government and were asked to inspect an old abandoned house on the outskirts of the city. They would be searching for old artefacts that the local museum wanted.

“Hey Steven bet you can’t go in that room filled with old, fragile, china dolls and wooden rocking horses even for twenty seconds.”

“No, I am not doing that!” demanded Steven.

“Boo! That’s lame I bet I could do this it’s so easy,” said Jess.

“Ok do it then.” teased Steven. Creak!... the floor board creak! “Eh kind of creepy. now I can go through it because I’m braver than him so…” (thinks in his head)

30 seconds go by…

 “Whoa did something move, I swear that rocking horse was near that television just a while ago and now it’s near those dolls and some boxes.”

“Jess! Are you alive, you can come out now, it’s been like two minutes. “

“I forgot that it was one minute so oopsies, uh anyways can we go home now?”

“NO” Jess said loudly. “We’re not finished here yet, we haven’t got everything we need still.”


“Ugh, why do we need any of these dolls anyways?” asked Steven.

 “Ugh I really don’t want to do this, like I don’t even want to be here at all. I wish I never signed up for this,” said Steven.

 “I mean you did ask if I wanted to do this,” said Jess.

“Be quiet Jess, please,” Steven yelled.

“Nah don’t feel like it, ha” laughed Jess.


 “Why are you even laughing at me?” asked Steven confused.

“Oh, I get it, now you were making a joke…”

“Yeah, I was making a joke of what you said.” Jess was trying not to laugh.    Creak! “Hey!” Steve yelled.

“Woah, what was that!” Jess yelled.  “Anyone there?” they both asked.

“Some boxes fell.” Bang, Bang, BANG! “Woah” yelled Steven.

 “Hey Steve, I’m going in there,” he said bravely.

“Jess, I don’t think this is a good idea,” yelled Steve.

“Don’t care,” yelled back Jess.

Jess enters the room. “Ahh!” yelled Jess.

Steven yelled back, “JESS ARE YOU OKAY!!!”

“Yeah, I’m just messing around with you, hah.”

“Not funny, Jess, not funny!” yelled Steven.

“Uhm, I think it was actually kind of funny ha-ha.” giggled Jess.

 “Boo lame,” yelled Steven. Jess knocks over paint cans.

“Oh NOO! That’s bad…. it stained all the floor!” yelled Jess.

“Uh, oh!” said Steven.

“Hopefully the owners of this house won’t come back for a while, like I really hope they don’t come back for a day at least,” whispered Jess. Jess secretly moves the rocking horse while Steven is trying to clean the paint off.

“Ahh, Steven, look at the rocking horse, it has moved over near the boxes again!” yelled Jess. Steven comes in the room.

“Oh my gosh!!! How did it move like that?” yelled Steven.

“I DON’T KNOW!!!” screamed Jess, “I HAVE NO IDEA HOW IT DID THAT!!!”  yelled Jess.

“Oh, my gosh, that is so weird,” said Steven.

“It is so weird to be honest and scary,” replied Jess.

“Yeah, yes, it is,” whispered Steven “but I do know you are pranking me,” said Steven.

“Aww, I did a good prank.”

“Yeah, it was alright I guess and I tried not to laugh while doing it, heh.”

“Heh that’s funny I didn’t think you knew I was pranking you.”

 “But how do we play with these dolls and stuff?” asked Jess quietly.

“Oh, wait I saw a television show about these dolls, you brush their hair and like feed them fake food and brush their teeth,” said Steven.             

“Ok then what about these rocking things?” asked Jess.

“Oh, I also saw this on the television, they are called them rocking horses, kids would sit on them and rock for ages, back and forth. Maybe it helped them relax,” said Steven quietly.

“It would be entertaining for the little ones, they would have so much fun.”

Although these rocking horses now had pieces broken off and the nails were rusty. Jess and Steven would still have fun fixing them up before handing them over to the local museum. The dolls had to go as well creepy or not.

But maybe they would be left behind!

1st Prize
Year 1 & 2 Category
Oak, St Paul's Primary School Karratha (WA)


Oh hi imagination, we meet again

I think as I pretend a stick is a bow and arrow.

Every day, every night, year after year you are with me.

You can turn sticks into swords and spoons into microphones.

You give my LEGO voices and bring my toys to life.

You help me defeat the baddies on the trampoline.

I always win.

You help me sell shells at the beach in my own shell shop.

You help me draw cool and amazing pictures.

Through the past, present and future, no matter he or she

You help us play.

I wonder if you visited my great gran when she was little? What about grandad?

Hey imagination come visit me tomorrow!

2nd Prize
Year 1 & 2 Category
George, Citipointe Christian College (QLD)


Jack sat hunched in front of the TV, loving cowboys show he was watching, with horses and cool hats and lassos. As he watched and watched, he felt the room around him sparkle and swirl into the Wild West! Feeling scared, Jack rushed across the desert to the nearest town to look for help.

As he walked in, everyone stared, wondering why he was wearing such weird clothes. “Quick, follow me! I’ll give you some proper cowboy clothes,” said a kind lady. Once he put on his outfit, he stood in front of the mirror, admiring his shiny badge and pointy boots. “Yee-haw!” he cried, “I’m a real cowboy!”

Jack went to the cowboy school, where he would learn how to be a cowboy. They got wooden horses and pretend pistols to play with. Jack imagined he had a real horse named Toffee and that he was the fastest cowboy in all the West.

“Jack, Jack!” called a familiar voice. Jack looked around startled. As his eyes darted around, the cowboy school turned into his regular old house. “Come on Jack, time for dinner,” called his mum. Silly Jack, his imagination was so good he really thought he was there!

3rd Prize
Year 1 & 2 Category
Manqi, Citipointe Christian College (QLD)

My Place

My grandfather Gary often mentioned stories of his childhood and growing up in a cul-de-sac in the suburbs of Sydney. Every day after school, he took out bicycles, scooters or roller skates and met up with his friends in the street. They played basketball, soccer, cricket and football. The children were usually from four to sixteen years old and there were twenty-five to thirty of them because there were four or more kids per family back then. There weren't many cars in the cul-de-sac so they could play safely. In the evenings, they played cards, mahjong and scrabble. They barely watched any TV. My name is Kiki and this is My Place. I'm six. I live in Central Tower of 16 Surbiton Court with my mother. Every day after school I normally do my homework first then play on my iPad, iPhone and computer. I never play in the complex because there are too many cars. In the future I think my kids will have plenty of homework but they can ask the robot to do it for them so that they can have their free time. In my granddad's generation children had more face to face interaction. These days I communicate with my friends on Whats App, WeChat and emails. In my children's generation the robot will do everything for them and they need to be the master of the robots.

My Place
1st Prize
Year 3 & 4 Category
Madison, St Mary’s Primary School (VIC)

The Extraordinary Game of Tag

“GO! RUN”! children screamed.  Everything started with a simple game of tag. Over time new friendships were formed, people were dragged out of their comfort zones and it made people realise the importance of getting exercise in and not just sitting around all the time. Here's how things started.

THWACK! “HEY!” I yelled, as someone ran over, to be honest I thought they were going to apologize to me. Turns out they just needed their footy back. I rolled my eyes and continued sitting in the sun alone. The same things happened over and over every day, the bell for break time rang and I sprinted hastily across the rough playground surface, through the cold, hard concrete surface of the piazza and finally from the grassy oval to the corner of the school. I don’t know why I am this antisocial, things just changed I guess. People ran around on the oval doing everything. Some played soccer whilst others played football. Girl’s sat on the edges of hills doing handclaps and even cartwheels. Maybe, just maybe I could go up and ask them to join.

As I approached them nervously but confidently the bell rang. I had lost my chance to finally make some new friends. In class we had a different lesson to normal. Today it was all about playing with our whole class and new people. Now, it was up to us. We were brainstorming things we are good at so we could come up with a class game. I thought, well I mean I'm good at running, I'm quite agile on my feet and I’m strong. I combined some of those things and an idea popped into my head. I raised my hand,the teacher noticed and called on me “Well, I notice people always run around at break so maybe we could all play tag?”  The teacher smiled a huge smile. Everyone in the class nodded their heads eagerly, loving the idea.

The teacher concluded the lesson and when the bell for break rang it all started. A girl named Gemma did the dip-dip, resulting in a boy named Sam being ‘IT’. The game had started and I was so happy, I was finally getting along with other kids. Energetically I sprinted over to catch up with some girls to stick around them. “This was a really amazing idea of playing tag Maddie” she grinned. Suddenly I noticed Sam running at neck-break speed towards us. It was like one of those action movies where you need to think quickly, sort of like a life or death situation except not really. The girls and I sprinted away, YES! we had evaded capture. One of them named Chrissy tripped over and we all fell into a jumble. We all burst out with laughter at the sight of us. Finally I had made a new change in my life. Every day I was excited to go to school and make new friends over a simple game.

2nd Prize
Year 3 & 4 Category
Lily, Gardenvale Primary School (VIC)

My Place

Hello, I’m Margaret.

I am eight and a half years old. My sisters are Lottie and Henrietta.

Lottie is the eldest and has to help mother with housework.

Henrietta is the youngest. She is two years old. She whines a lot because she doesn’t like her nanny.

Me, I like playing knucklebones with friends.

I live near the gold-mines. My father, Mr Blackwell, moved so my sisters and I could have a better life. He told me,

“Live a good, wealthy life. You’ll soon see, my Margaret!”

My father likes to mine for gold. He really does want to be wealthy.

I am sad, though, because father has become so hard-working, I barely see him. He goes early in the morning and comes late at night when mother has already put Henrietta and me to bed.

I like school. My teacher is Mr Stein and he is very strict.

I like English. I can spell “knucklebones” in one go. My friends cannot. It makes me feel powerful and special.

Mr Stein barely tolerates naughty children. The children in my class are often getting “the cane”.

It scares me to get the cane, so I always try to be good, but Mr Stein is not fair. He canes people for spelling words wrong, or getting equations incorrect.

I got it once. I wasn’t paying attention. It really hurt.

My father complains how expensive school is-

Five shillings!!

I have to agree.

(I am learning about currency at school.)

I am really good at Knucklebones. I can catch all five at once while singing with my friends, “Charlie over the ri-ver, Charlie over the sea, Charlie come over to my house and ha-ve a cu-up of tea.”

My friends Annabelle and Bridget can only catch three.

I don’t gloat, though. That would be mean.

I also like skipping, although, I am not very good at it.

When I go to jump rope, my friends chant,

Who are you going to mar-ry? Tinkerer, tailor, soldier, sailor, rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief.....”

I always land on poor man or beggar man. It makes me upset. My friends tease me because they can skip all the way through it twice and then land on rich man.

But that doesn’t matter.

One day, at a family dinner, Father came home, grinning from ear to ear. Mother asked him,

“Dear, why are you home so early?”

Everyone got a shock when Father shouted,

“We may sell this old shack! The boys and I found a beauty today!! A nugget! A real, huge, gold one!!”

Mother nodded and smiled, keeping her cool.

And what did you know?

Two weeks later I am in a proper house, not a shack, a real stone house with a tin roof!!

I smiled and got out a piece of paper and pencil and drew a map of where I live.

My school, the gold mines (now next door), and more.

I drew my house and clearly named it.


3rd Prize
Year 3 & 4 Category
Andrew, Citipointe Christian College (QLD)

From my old place, South Africa, to my new place, Australia

Moving from South Africa to Australia has been very different for me, and I have discovered that sport and play are the easiest and most fun ways of making new friends and finding out new things in this new place. I am going to tell you how my play has changed from South Africa and what it might say about my past, present and future.

Back in South Africa, my friends and I loved playing rugby. We had beautiful beaches with a smell of sea salt in the air, it filled my nose, and that was a perfect spot to play rugby. It was like we were carrying on what was our culture from so long ago where rugby was a big part of our culture and history.

But here in Australia, everything is similar but different. Here we have very green fields with neat grass which are perfect for playing cricket. It’s like a different world of games to play and I sometimes picture myself as a cricket star. Australians also love Rugby League, which I didn’t understand very well. It is all about adapting to this new world in the present and taking in the new experiences.

One of the things I have noticed is that swimming is a big deal in Australia. It’s not as common in South Africa, partially because we didn’t have as many facilities. I think this might tell me something about how Australia value their health and fitness. I’ve started swimming a little too, and it is like diving into a different world, where I’m taking care of my body and having fun at the same time.

What’s interesting is that even though we play some different sports, there’s still something that connects us with the past. Both South Africa and Australia love rugby and both countries are competitive. It’s like a piece of history we are sharing and it shows that even though we come from different places, we can still find common games.

For me, changing to a new place has been a journey of imagination and adaptation. It’s a mix of holding on to the past, enjoying the present, and looking forward to what lies ahead. Moving from one country to another has opened up a world of new experiences, fun and games and I’m using my enjoyment of sport to make the most of it while I can.

My Place
1st Prize
Year 5 & 6 Category
Elise, St Anthony's Primary School Kingscliff (NSW)

Remembering Time

I remember when the glowing sun used to set behind the mountains at dusk. The calm, flowing river slowly meandered down the mountain side, glistening in the evening sunlight. We would gaze in awe at the beauty, spending our nights, my brothers and I, just watching, and listening to the wonders of the earth's delicate movements. It filled us, like a balloon, all that hope and wonder, knowing that such a gift like this was something that many would never encounter in a lifetime.

When the sun would rise steadily over the vast peaks, being the ecstatic young children we were, would feel the warming sun rays on our pale cheeks and bolt upright in our musty beds. It was time to let our imaginations run wild! Nothing could stop us. As we ran to the shelter and shade of the large, old tree, we brainstormed ways to get up to mischief, and told ourselves we were little inventors.

Our days were filled with fun and excitement, and for weeks on end we would ponder the makings of the universe. But then, the rains came. Pouring down from the sky like a river breaking its banks. A torrential downpour, wreaking havoc across the lands. Black, sombre clouds, clapped ferocious thunder high above. Threatening strikes of lightning lit up the sky. Oh, how we would wish to go outside, splashing in puddles and mucking about. I could picture it so vividly in my mind. But Mother would never allow it, insisting a cold was just waiting to happen. So we had to wait out the storm. Long days, long nights. Four children, my three brothers and I, waiting with long faces and disappointed hearts. Finally, it stopped.

We were out the door with zero seconds to spare. Running. The crisp, fresh smell of earth and wet grass invited us to come play. Our feet squelched in the mud. We felt it oozing in between our tiny toes. And we were off. With wild expressions on our faces, we ran as far as our legs would carry us. Feet thumping, in tune with the rhythm of nature.

Soon, we stopped. Our faces red and breathing heavily. My eldest brother, twelve at the time, used to say I always got too wild when I was outdoors. I disagreed, saying that being outdoors was meant to be fun. Then, a small trickling sound filled our ears like a quiet symphony. Rushing through my soul. A river. A creek. I lived for this. Arms swinging slightly, I walked softly until coming to a river bank. Calling to my brothers, I began to gather old pieces of wood planks and sticks. Now, all hands were on deck. Gathering all we could find. Mossy pieces of sticks, bark and then, jackpot. Four old, wooden barrels.

The raft was ready. Ready to head out across the river. Four barrels as the base and old planks of wood tied together as the deck. Carved out oars were now completed and we were stripped down to our underwear, leaving our outer clothing on a rock beside the soggy bank. We pushed off into the water, the cloudy sun beaming down on our bodies. My two elder brothers handled the oars and my younger cuddled into my side, keeping us both warm and cosy. Water spray splashed up onto us, sending us into small shivers. The water was dark from the recent rains, yet a big smile was plastered on my face. I loved this. I loved every bit of it. This is what described me. This was my play.

Nowadays, things are different. Many would never take the chance to go outside after a rainstorm. My grandchildren spend all their time looking at bright screens with flashing lights and “exciting” noises. We never had things like this when I was a child. We used the real world to entertain ourselves. We used the real world to play. But I guess that doesn’t happen anymore. Things are evolving with time. I’m not sure if it is for the greater good or just plain wrong.

My hope for the future is that someday, things will change in our world. That everyone will feel the presence of nature all around them. I was always an outside baby. I know that even though technology is evolving by the minute, I hope that the children of the future will get the opportunity to play outside and let nature drive their imaginations wild.

2nd Prize
Year 5 & 6 Category
Sakura, St Edward's Daisy Hill (QLD)

The Temari Ball

“Come back here!”

I run as fast as I can, racing around the grass. “Stop!”

Hiroshi lunges for me as I duck. I run. He lunges for me again, and succeeds in grabbing me, his arm around my throat. “Help!” I croak.

Grinning, Hiroshi snatches the temari I have in my grasp. “Is this seriously what you play with?”

My cheeks burn as I look down in shame. I know it is a girl’s toy, but it is the one I promised I would keep for my late mother! My feet are rooted to the spot and my mouth is glued shut.

I watch in horror as I watch Hiroshi tosses it into the mud. “Sucker.”

He runs away.

I splurge my hand into the mud, feeling for the temari ball. Fighting back tears, I wrestle it out of the mud and rinse it by the creek.

“Why does Hiroshi have to be such a jerk?!” I cry out, sending a few lone birds away. At least he didn’t come to my house and chuck it into our safety basement. That would be even worse.

“What are you doing, with all that mud on your shirt and shorts? Have you been in a fight?” glaring at me is my older sister, Naoko.

“No. Hiroshi… umm…”

My sister’s expression softens, and she gently touches my shoulder. “But... You know I’m going to have to wash those again?” She raises her eyebrows.

I look down.

“Go and wash your arms and legs in the creek. I’m going home.” she says. “Come back, will you? It’s dangerous to be out here, now there’s a war…”

After I wash my arms and legs in the creek, I head back home. I peel off my wet clothes, change, and lay down on my bed.

I roll over onto my belly and get out my toy soldiers. I wonder what kind of toys Hiroshi has? Maybe he has diamonds engraved in his soldiers. I feel a pang of jealousy as I line up five of them facing my right. Then the other half facing my left. I knock over the soldiers on the right.

I hope all goes well in the war. I stare at the calendar. 6th August 1945, it reads. I hope the war ends soon, so that Japan can win, and Father can come back from bombing Australia. I close my eyes and try to imagine his face.

A sudden noise jolts my eyes open. “What was that?” I asked, clinging on to Naoko. It sounded like a plane.

“I don’t know. A bomb?” Naoko’s face was blanched.

I stuff cotton from my pillow into my ears and put my hands over them. Then there is an ear-splitting noise louder than Hiroshi yelling out the answers in class. I felt the house shake.

Naoko can’t hear me. She shoves me into the basement and covers it with my mattress. Then she jumps in, and I watch her get swallowed by darkness. She hugs me. “We’re going to be alright.” Then she plugs her own ears and we wait.

I tried not to think about the kinds of monsters could be living here. There is a noise like an explosion, and we wait for a few minutes after the noise, and Naoko peeps out. She plops back to the ground.

“Let me see.” I ask.

Naoko gives way for me, and I lift my mattress. The whole house has fallen, making it hard for me to push the layers of bedding up. I reach out my arm, straining against the pressure of the blanket, and I grab it. My temari ball.

I slowly sit back down too, letting the house push my bed down. “Gone. Everything. Gone.” Tears run down my cheeks. “Gone.” I squeeze my temari ball tight.


I would never have had imagined spending time with Hiroshi if I didn’t have to.

We are sitting in silence, next to the ruins of my house.


I also would have never imagined Hiroshi apologising to me. Or his hair almost sizzled. Or him wanting to be friends with me.

“I lost all my toys, ones that meant a lot to me...” I can see Hiroshi squirming and biting his lip. “I realised that yours do to you, too, I guess...”

I smile.


From that day on, we played together. Talked together. No more bullying. Helped with the recovery of the town.

And most of all, I still had my temari ball.

3rd Prize
Year 5 & 6 Category
Lucy, Wyrallah Road Public School (NSW)

A World of My Own


I sprint through the forest, heart beating rapidly. Leaves crunch under my feet, and animals race to get out of my way. I push vines and low branches aside, and jump over large roots.

I hear footsteps behind me, and turn around. I scream at the sight of a tiger. I sprint faster, scrambling up a tree, trying to lose it, only to see it pursue, leaping from branch to branch. Just as the tiger makes one final leap, I hear a voice, calling me.

“John! Jo-ohn! Time for dinner!”

 Suddenly I snap back into reality, and find myself in the back garden. I groan.

“Ma! I'm in the middle of playing! I'm not hungry. I don’t even want dinner!” I call back in a whiny voice, walking away.

“Okay then! I'm just warning you though, tonight’s dinner is Duck Pie. But, I guess if you don’t want it, there’ll be more for me!”

I stop. Duck pie is my favorite. My absolute favorite. “A-alright. I guess I might come over. Cause, um, I just realised that I was kind of hungry, so, um… yeah.” I say slowly, not wanting to give her the pleasure of convincing me to come. I turn around, and walk towards the kitchen, smelling the sweet smell of duck pie.

“But before you get dinner, you need to clean up your room!” my mother suddenly calls out. Then adds, “I'll be checking it too!” I know instantly that it will take me hours to finish cleaning my room, what with my Ma checking it. I groan. Looks like I won’t be getting that Duck Pie anytime soon.

I walk into my room, and instantly droop at the sight of it. There is mess everywhere. Chalk drawings cover the wall, messily pinned up. Knucklebones lie in a pile on the floor, next to my skipping ropes, hoola hoops, and my old yoyo. I glance over at my cupboard, where my rocking horse, marbles bag, toy soldiers, and spinning tops lie, forgotten, strewn atop my wooden chest of drawers. I look under my bed, and see some old pilot’s goggles, a cane, a suitcase, my Uncle’s old sailing hat, and a toy plane that William, my friend, and I used to play pilots, explorers, and sailors. I scramble around, picking up all my toys, my clothes, my drawings, and my shoes, and dump them in their cupboards, under my bed, and behind my curtains, trying to make it look neat. When I'm done, I smile.

“I’m ready, Ma!” I call out.

My Ma walks in, and beams at me.

“Well done.” She says, “Go and get that duck pie, now. You deserve it.” She walks away, taking one last glance at my neatened room, then closes the door behind me.


200 Years Later…



Mario jumps over fake lava rivers, through cartoon forests, and over square hills. He runs, then tumbles down into a black cave. He walks cautiously into a bleak and unconvincingly rectangular room, then stops at the sight of an enemy. Just as Mario jumps, about to attack the enemy, he gets distracted by a voice calling his name.

“Alex! Alexander! Screen time’s over, I told you that twenty minutes ago! Get off, and clean your room!” Yells the voice, echoing from the kitchen.

“Yeah, I know, I just got to defeat this dude!” Yells back the boy, Alexander, who was controlling Mario, and desperately trying to get back himself the upper hand in his fake duel.

“You told me that last time! And the time before! Nice try, but you’re getting off right now, or I'll turn the TV off completely!” Replies the voice, who was Alexander’s Mum, ignoring her son’s cries of protests.

Alex reluctantly turns his Nintendo Switch off, and walks to his room. He slumps, realising that this task would take him a long time. He picks up his laptop, his Bop It, and his Lego kit, and puts them into a drawer. He scoops up his Sloppy Joe, his blue jeans and dumps them under his bed. He grabs his Nerf Gun, and pretends to be a gunfighter, shooting his Teddy Bears.

“Hurry up! Your dinner’s getting cold!” Urges his Mum from the Dining Room.

Alex speeds up, and messily shoves the remaining mess into a cupboard. He glances around the room, and shrugs.

‘That will have to do.’ He thinks, then closes his door, leaving behind his dirty bedroom.

Highly Commended
Year 5 & 6 Category
Dhrish, Shore Preparatory School (NSW)

The Flashback


TV Host







This is a TV show being recorded in front of an audience. The Camera is filming the show from different angles, trying to get the best shot of the audience and the people who are getting interviewed.


TV Host : Welcome everybody back to Flashback. Today’s edition of Flashback is, what was it like playing in the past and comparing this to what we play today. In this episode I have brought in some special guests of my family. Let’s  give a round of applause to my Grandma and Grandpa.


Grandma and Grandpa were given a standing ovation by the Audience and the Camera was twisting and turning, still trying to find the best angle to shoot the show.


Grandma and Grandpa: Thank you everyone.


TV Host: Welcome to the show Grandma and Grandpa. As we all know you are very old and were born in the 1900’s. As we have come over the years, playing has changed every day. There are plenty of things to consider, being born in India. There are different sports and games that you played over there but let’s start with the big question. What did you play when you were younger?


Grandpa: Well, when we were younger, we used to play cricket, soccer, volleyball, kite flying marbles and kabaddi.


Grandma: And don’t forget Langdi and Kho-Kho.


Grandpa: You might not know what kabaddi is but basically it is a game played between two teams of seven players, in which individuals take turns to chase and try to touch members of the opposing team without being captured by them. It is a pretty aggressive game. It also involves tackling.


TV Host: Ooo, some rough sports. Well continuing with games, did you play outside on the street or inside you house because nowadays we stay at home or go to the park supervised by our parents.


Grandma: We did both. Back then there were no board games and television and since there were less cars on the road, we mostly played on the road when we were free. I didn’t go out that much, but Grandpa did.


Grandpa: Yes. I loved going out to play games with my friends. I would always go out with my friends after school because we always had the time but if there was a test coming up, we would have to cancel those games.


TV Host: We now just stay at home, stuck to the TV. People in the past used to play on the road without a care in the world. Games are supposed to teach us lessons. Well then, what lessons did you learn from those games?


Grandma: We always learnt the proper sportsmanship and respect in any game but that didn’t stop us from getting competitive. We always used to push on even if we were losing but if we had lost, we would go down without any tantrums.


TV Host: (Speaking in professional voice) Thank you Grandma and Grandpa for this wonderful interview. Now we will welcome my one and only Dad!


The Audience whistles and whoops as dad runs onto the stage giving his best side the best shine.

TV Host: So Dad, as you’ve been listening through your mum and dads talk, do you think the games have changed a bit?


Dad: Not really. In my days I played cricket, badminton, and soccer as sports. Also played marbles, tip, hide and seek. In my teenage years I was focused on badminton as my main sport, which kept me remarkably busy with training in the morning before school and practicing in the evening.


TV Host: Some new and old games back then.  Well then did you play outside or inside?


Dad: Same as my mom and dad. I did both. Every time I am roaming on the street it would be riding bike or playing games. We did not have a playground near our house, so the street was where we played with friends. Street cricket was a daily occurrence after school. When I was at home, I would be completing my homework or socialising with family.


TV Host: So in this episode of Flashback we can see the major similarities between the two generations before us and the major differences in this generation. They are slipping away from us when electronics are multiplying. Let us leave us on that. Thank you for joining me and my family in this special episode of Flashback.

1st Prize
Year 7 & 8 Category
Essie, Fahan School (TAS)

Play Place

Raised voices penetrated the thick silence. I jumped, terrified that I’d be discovered. But whoever had yelled was too engrossed to notice. I let out a quiet breath. If anyone saw me, away from home, well past curfew, I’d be skinned alive. I rubbed my arms, trying to bring the warmth back into them. The night air was awfully cold, and I regretted the decision to leave my warm coat at home. As I’d crept through the junkyard, my mind wandered back to earlier today. Mother had slapped my hands with her cane; the angry red welts were painfully visible. I’d been baking an apple pie, a treat me and my sister Marie rarely received. When I’d lifted the pie out of the oven, I’d lost focus and dropped it. It’d fallen with a splat onto the tiles. I was in big trouble. I sighed aloud. Life was hard, especially for 10-year-olds like me. There’s no time to play. That’s why Play Place existed.

As I’d stepped into a clearing deep into the junkyard, a bang come from somewhere nearby. To my relief, a short, scruffy haired boy appeared. I winched as his shoes thumbed loudly on the earth, and I stood up, hands on hips. “You make an awful lot of noise for someone your size, Arlo.” He smirked. “It’s good to see you to, Lizzy.” I scowled half-heartedly. My real name was Elizabeth, but only Mother called me that. “And” he added, “we’re in the middle of nowhere. You’re overreacting.” I shoved his shoulder affectionately. “Come on, let’s sit.” We sat. “So, what should we do today?” That’s how it goes every week when we met up at Play Place. We produced a new idea to bring to life. We had no time to play at home. Both our families were poor, and we’re expected to work. I hated it. Coming to the Play Place with Arlo was the only bright spot in the week. Coming back to the present, I thought for a moment. “We could be soldiers?” I suggested. Arlo nodded thoughtfully. “I was thinking of something to do with horses.” I rolled my eyes. “Arlo, you are obsessed.” It’s all he talks about. Suddenly I had an idea. “We could be soldiers on horses!” Arlo’s eyes brightened. “Yeah! And we could battle!” I grinned; his enthusiasm infectious. “Yes! It’s a great idea!” We set to work. I found a broom to use as my ‘horse,’ and pole to use as a sword. We met in the centre of the clearing. I turned to him. “You ready?” I asked. He nodded. “Ok then, let’s go!” We both spun around. Soon I was no longer in the junkyard. Green pasture spread out before me, and my broom had transformed into a black stallion, standing beneath me. I glanced over at Arlo. He was fitted in shiny armour, astride a chestnut mare. I grinned. “Nice armour.” He struck a pose. “Nice horse.” And we were off, galloping across the fields. I thrusted my steel sword at Arlo, but he deflected it. My steed’s mane flicked up, and the wind stung my cheeks. Arlo swiped at me. As I ducked, our swords clashed. My horse pivoted, and Arlo wheeled around. Sensing his distraction, I rode straight at him, sword raised...                                                                         

"Elizabeth! Get down here!”  

Rain drizzled down steadily outside, and my breath fogged up on the window. I could see Arlo’s house from here; we’re neighbours. He’s inside somewhere. When Mother found me and Arlo, a week ago, gallivanting around the junkyard, she was furious. I’d never seen her expression look so cold. After seeing Arlo off, she marched me home. Once we were inside, the yelling started. I can’t remember what I said exactly, but I knew I’d crossed the line. I’ve 9been locked in my room since. I sighed, wishing I could have one more night at the Play Place, just one more...                                                                            Suddenly, I had an idea. I smiled for the first time in days, then looked for paper and pencil. Once found, I scribbled a quick message in bold letters. I moved back to the window and prised it open. I threw an old shoe at Arlo’s window. It hit the glass with a thump, and a moment later he appeared. I held the paper up.

Tonight. Play Place.

He read it for what seemed like an eternity, then gave a quick nod. I bit my lip. It was a lot to ask, breaking out. But I knew we must, one last time.

I waited in the clearing in the junkyard, my breath freezing in the air. I worried that Arlo wouldn’t come. I found it hard enough sneaking away from my house. At last, I heard a quiet scuffle, then he materialized. He smiled. “It’s good to see you.” I walked over and slipped my hand into his. “Back at you.” We stood in silence for a while before Arlo spoke. “We’ll never be able to come back, you know. This is the last time.” I nodded. “I know. That’s why I asked you to come.” He smiled again, sad. Then he shook himself. “Ok then. What should we do?” I thought for a moment. We had to do something special. “Why don’t we dance?” Arlo looked puzzled, so I explained. “We could be all posh and royal. At a ball.” Now Arlo understood. He squeezed my hand. “That’s a marvelous idea.” We spun around. The world transformed into a massive ballroom, and chandeliers sparkled like twinkling diamonds. Arlo took my hand. “Would you like to dance, madame?” I giggled. “It would be my pleasure, monsieur.” And off we went, waltzing around the floor. We must have looked awfully peculiar in the outside world; two children twirling around. But I didn’t care. I just wanted to savour that moment. Me and Arlo, dancing as one. I knew that no distance could sever our bond to each other, to our Play Place.

2nd Prize
Year 7 & 8 Category
Molly, St John's College Dubbo (NSW)

Many Worlds of Play and Imagination

The mind is an amazing place. Where imagination runs free. It has abilities to connect with past and future. Only if you’re a believer, a kid. Like a battery, your imagination ceases to exist as you age. The mind forgets, moves on, grows. Leaving imagination and play behind.

Edward Smith
Monday 1st June 1820

Daddy told me to go and play in the garden. He said he has very important work to do and he was not to be disturbed. Mummy said Daddy has a lot of money, that's why we have a big garden. I love the garden. Before I go to the garden I will go up to my room to get my toys mummy ordered in her magazine. They arrive from Sydney.

I have a little polished boat that can race across the water. I have a plane that I fly through the air. I imagine I am a sailor, a plane driver, an explorer in the Amazon. This is my imagination. These are my toys and this is my play.

Mary-Lou Loster
Wednesday 3rd June 1820

The slums are full of children. The older children help their mummy and daddy’s. I play with Beck, Joe and Lucy. I found some old driftwood, it looked like a dinosaur. We pretend we are scientists, we have discovered a new species! I asked mummy if I could ever be a scientist. She said try your best. We play in the dirt, we play in the mud. We play with sticks and stones. We imagine they are toys of colour and fun. One’s mummy and daddy could never buy. This is my imagination. These are my toys and this is my play.

Maverick Bridle
Saturday 19th April 2532

Yesterday was my birthday. I am officially 10 and older than most of my classmates. I got a mini hoverboard because mummy said I am not old enough for a big one like Bridie's. It’s not fair. I am ten. I played with it all day, it even has a stairs feature. I zoomed around all day and then 5D Visualled my friends on my ePro 91 Max so they could experience it like I was. None of them have hoverboards. Mum told me a bedtime story about play in the olden days, thousands of years ago. I can’t imagine a world without hoverboards. What would they do with themselves all day? This is my imagination. These are my toys and this is my play.

Nova Slidescape
Sunday 24th August 2532

Mummy said she can’t buy me the toy I wanted for my birthday. The little school she was working at shut down. Mummy is sick, the water she drank was yucky. My play is in the dirt with Rosa, Clay and Mika. They found an old doll buried in the rubble from the war Daddy said happened thousands of years ago. It has blonde hair and is plastic. We called her Barbra. Barbra swaps between us and we play with her in the dirt with sticks and stones. This is my imagination. These are my toys and this is my play.


Edward Smith
Mummy said our garden is big. Daddy said our garden is mystical. Maid Lou-Lou said not to get my clothes dirty. My plane flies through the air guided by my hand. I look around, slowing. I see a girl.

Marry-Lou Loster
I'm staring at a strange boy. I was playing with my doll. I made her by tying sticks with string pulled from a hessian sack in the slum. He is dressed in a little suit with a plane. It looks very posh. I turn, making sure I’m in the right spot. A boy hovers behind me.

Maverick Bridle
I hover on my board in awe. A girl in rags and a boy in a funny little tuxedo stand before me. Making sure I’m still in my bedroom I turn. A girl stares in equal shock back at me.

Nova Slidescape
I was playing with Barbra, I swear. Then they appeared. I looked up and there they were. I step forward.


A girl looks around at two boys and a girl.

“Who are you.” The little boy with the plane says. He sounds proper and posh.

“I was just playing” They all spoke in unison.

They looked at each other's toys.

“I’m a plane driver”

“I’m playing with my doll”

“I’m playing on my hoverboard”

“I…I’m playing with Barbra”

They all stare. They all smile.

“Can Barbra fly a plane?”

They all sit down, gathering in a group, exchanging toys. Smiles all around, laughing, happiness, new friendships forged from toys and play. Imagine a world where adults played together, where they had wild imaginations. Imagine a world where we could meet, purely from toys and imagination. This is their imagination. These are their toys and this is their play.

3rd Prize
Year 7 & 8 Category
Heidi, Brisbane Christian College Middle and Secondary campus (QLD)

Molly: The Hero Within

At only thirteen years old, Molly had never thought of herself as a hero. She lived an ordinary life in the small town of Cedarville. However, one day everything changed. Her grandmother fell sick and was admitted into a retirement home for treatment. Molly visited her every day, hoping to bring a little joy into her life. Molly's grandmother was always her biggest supporter and encouraged her to be kind, empathetic, and brave. Seeing her grandmother's health worsen, Molly felt helpless about being able to help her. That was until the day she discovered her newfound powers. While she didn't know exactly how her abilities worked, she knew that she had to use them for the greater good. It was then that she began her journey of self-discovery, figuring out the extent of her strengths and how to harness them to make a positive difference in the world.

One fateful day, while visiting her grandmother, a strange incident occurred. Molly had brought a chocolate bar as a gift to her grandmother but, while nibbling on it, she suddenly felt a surge of energy coursing through her body. She couldn't explain it, but she felt stronger, faster, and more powerful than ever before. As Molly pondered over what had just happened, she realised that the energy she felt was only the beginning of something bigger. The next day, she tried eating a carrot and the same surge of energy ran through her body, making her feel invincible. As she tried out different foods, she realised that each one had a unique effect on her abilities. She could outrun the fastest car, lift weights that seemed impossible for her size, and even heal her cuts and bruises in mere seconds. She became more excited about her abilities, yet worried about how she could keep her identity and powers a secret. She knew that her powers could make her a target, and she didn't want anyone to use them for personal gain.

Little did she know, her newfound powers would come in handy sooner than expected. A group of bad guys had been investigating the retirement home and decided to put their plan into action. There were a few residents who owned expensive jewellery and objects, which they aimed to steal. As these criminals began to pull off their plan, Molly noticed them and knew she had to act. Without a second thought, Molly jumped to her feet and charged toward the thieves. She fought them off with her newfound strength and agility, catching them all off guard. By the time the police arrived, Molly had already captured them all. News of the brave young girl who fought off the thieves soon spread throughout the town. People acknowledged her as a hero and praised her bravery. However, her troubles were not over yet. Days after her heroic act, Molly's grandmother's condition began too worsen.  Day by day, her cough got worse. No one could help her.

Molly felt helpless as she watched her grandma suffer, and her heart ached as she listened to her coughs getting louder and more frequent. But then she remembered something her idol Super Angelina had told her about most hero’s abilities, like Mollys. Molly had inherited her idols power of healing, and she had been too scared to use it until now. She took a deep breath and reached out to touch her grandma's chest, willing the healing power to flow through her fingertips and into her grandma's body. To Molly's amazement, the coughing stopped, and her grandma's breathing became steady and even. Molly's eyes filled with tears of gratitude, knowing that she had saved her grandma's life.

Her grandmother was still fast asleep, but it seemed like she was breathing. Hours later, she saw her grandmother open her eyes and whispered exhaustingly to Molly “Go tell your parents you’re a hero” she handed her a necklace of a cape that was engraved in the middle of the silver charm as she confusingly fast walked out of her sick room with the jewel in her hand. Afterwards, Molly couldn't wait to tell her parents about what had happened, and as she talked to them, they shared stories about their family's powers. They explained that Molly's abilities were genetic and had been passed down through generations of their family. Molly was amazed by this announcement, and she felt a vast sense of pride knowing that she was a part of a long line of powerful individuals. From that day on, Molly continued to sharpen her abilities and use them to help others, knowing that she had the power to make a positive impact on the world.

But suddenly, Molly woke up from her nap, realising that it was all a dream. She felt a sense of disappointment, but then remembered the message behind the dream. She knew that even if her powers weren't real, she still had the ability to make a positive impact on the world in her own ways. She promised herself that she would continue to follow the lessons her grandmother taught her and be kind, empathetic, and brave. She smiled, feeling grateful for the dream that had reminded her of who she truly was, and went about her day with a newfound sense of purpose.        

Summary: Molly, an ordinary girl from Cedarville, has a dream in her sleep that she discovers her extraordinary powers one day when her grandmother falls ill. With her newfound strength and agility, she fights off criminals, heals her grandmother, and becomes a hero in her small town. The story teaches us that we all have the ability to be heroes and make a positive difference in the world, whether through imaginations or make a positive difference in the world.

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