Dramatic sergeant major wins Dawe prize

Much-loved Australian poet the late Bruce Dawe was the enjoyable focus at the end of Term 2 for Year 10 students at St Paul’s Catholic College, Booragul.

The final text the class studied was the anti-war poem Weapons Training – a dramatic monologue told from the perspective of a toughened sergeant major, whose purpose is to terrify his young recruits into being prepared for battle.

To introduce the poem, 30 oblivious class members were lined up “army style” in Holland Court. You can imagine their shock and surprise when our very own sergeant major (drama teacher Tom Baldwin) appeared, (fake) rifle in hand to recite the poem to the unsuspecting “recruits”. Mr Baldwin did not disappoint, embracing the role passionately, and delivering the message and purpose of the poem loud and clear.

Our poor recruits soon learnt that to look sideways, laugh, smirk or move would result in a humiliating roasting from the sergeant major. This was certainly a text and lesson the class will not forget in a hurry.

A big thanks to Mr Baldwin for giving up his time and delivering a memorable performance with gusto.


“… and when I say eyes right, I want to hear those eyeballs click.”

“What’s the matter? Why are you looking at me like that?”

“Grab and check the magazine man.”

“What are you laughing at you in the back row with the unsightly elephant ears.”

To find out more about St Paul's, Booragul or to enrol your child, please click here. 

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