Andrew Barton Patterson or more commonly known as “Banjo” Patterson is probably Australia’s most well-known poet. He is honoured greatly now by having one side of the ten dollar note dedicated to his memory. 2014 is 150 years since Banjo Paterson’s birth, so is extra special. Many Australians learn and recite his poetry. A movie has been made from one of his poems “The Man from Snowy River”, and various annual events are held in his honour.
The Man from Snowy River Bush Festival is held in Victoria at the foothills of the Snowy Mountains. The festival began in 1995. It celebrates bush folk law, horsemanship, bush music and art. All sorts of events take place; from camp drafting and a brumby catch, to a ute muster and a four day trail ride. People from all over Australia attend and even visitors from other countries.
Banjo Paterson Festival is held every year in Orange, the town of Banjo’s birth. It runs over eleven days. There are horse races, art exhibitions, poetry recitals, yabbying competitions and many more events. During the festival people explore the places Banjo would have explored as a child.
Banjo truly loved Australia and the bush. We can know that by just reading some of his poems.
Banjo wrote many poems and ballads all about Australia, and life here, particularly bush life, which he lived as a child. His poetry does much to remind us of the Australian bush and what things were like and in places still are. Even though he lived and died quite a few years ago – 17 February 1864 to 5 February 1941 – Banjo’s legacy remains.