Student from St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School in Ascot Takes Top Prize at 2023 IEU-QNT Literary Competition

Ellouise Tkaczyk from St Margaret’s Anglican Girls’ School in Ascot stood out as a shining star at the 2023 IEU-QNT Literary Competition, winning the Year 9 and Year 10 category with her short story, “Blood and Ribbon.”

Now in its 64th year, the IEU-QNT Literary Competition is the longest-running writing competition in Queensland.

Organised in partnership with the English Teachers’ Association of Queensland (ETAQ), the competition seeks to inspire and recognise the talents of students and staff from state and non-government schools, promoting the growth of literary development and creative expression in young minds.

St Margaret Anglican School Ellouise Tkaczyk
Photo Credit: IEU-QNT

Terry Burke, the IEU-QNT Branch Secretary, highlighted the value of the Literary Competition in fostering young writers’ creativity and honing their writing skills.

He expressed his delight at the diversity and exceptional quality of this year’s submissions from all across the state, affirming that the judges were greatly impressed by the exceptional talent on display.

“I congratulate those outstanding writers who were awarded prizes and thank all the recipients who entered the 2023 Literary Competition,” Mr Burke said, emphasizing the importance of nurturing a love for literature and creative expression among the youth.

List of Literary Competition winners for 2023


• Short story: David Coleman-Mann, Chancellor State College, Sippy Downs, Sunshine Cost

Year 11 and 12

• Short story: Milli Gornik, St Thomas More College, Sunnybank

• Poem: Salem Williams, Kelvin Grove State College, Kelvin Grove

• Non-fiction prose: Felicity Williams, All Saints Anglican School, Merrimac

Year 9 and 10

Short story: Ellouise Tkaczyk, St Margaret’s Anglican Girls’ School, Ascot

• Poem: Huntar Paterson, St Thomas More College, Sunnybank

Year 7 and 8

• Short story: Estella Dobbins, St Patrick’s College Townsville, The Strand, North Ward

• Poem: Dominic Palmani, St Thomas More College, Sunnybank

Year 5 and 6

• Short story: Isaac Furlong, Kelvin Grove State College, Kelvin Grove

• Poem: Lawson Plumbe, Toowoomba East State School, East Toowoomba

Published 25-Aug-2023

Ponytail Project: Kids are Rocking the Chop to a Movement that Started in Ascot

Did you know that the Ponytail Project, an annual fundraising initiative from Cancer Council Queensland, started at St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School in Ascot? This year’s campaign has students rocking the chop yet again, aiming to attract over 30,000 ponytails and $850,000 in donations.

The movement was inspired by a parent from the St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School community who was battling breast cancer. Four students, Beth Flint, Meg Fraser, Maria Cobain, and Annabelle Crossley, first stepped up and the Ponytail Project was born. 

Every year since then, the girls at St Margaret’s would mount the campaign. In 2018, Cancer Council Queensland helped in launching the initiative throughout the region. The following year, the movement spread to South Australia and Western Australia.

Since the campaign started in 2015, the Ponytail Project has raised more than $1.655 million. 

Photo Credit: StMargaretsAGS/Facebook

What Happens to the Ponytails?

Donated ponytails are turned into wigs that will go to people suffering from hair loss as a result of their cancer treatments or medical condition. The hair donations are sorted and graded by hair type, length and colour at participating Sustainable Salons depots. It takes about 20 to 25 ponytails of the same type and quality to create one wig.  

After sorting, the ponytails are then sent to charitable organisations and wigmakers who directly work with groups, hospitals, and local institutions. Other ponytail donations may go into research projects to create sustainable wigs. 

The event also matches monetary donations to fund the projects of Cancer Council Queensland. The council cites October as the official month for the campaign but it can be done at whatever time is convenient for the students.

Students may assemble in groups or as an individual and then create their own campaign via the council’s online facilities for sharing on social media or tracking the progress of the fundraiser. 

Cancer Council Queensland CEO Chris McMillan said that they witnessed more students participating in the Ponytail Project year after year. He encourages more kids to make a difference in other people’s lives by joining the cause and spreading the word.