Beth Jessup

Beth Jessup

Beth Jessup came to writing in the mid 90’s, writing press releases for her newly formed Events Publicity Company. Over the next five years some became stories with her byline in local and regional papers. Eventually this lead to becoming a contributing writer for the Two Of Us column of the Good Weekend Magazine of The Age and Sydney Morning Herald 2005-2010. As well, Beth has also contributed to The Guardian. Four years ago she began writing poetry and now performs at open mics around Sydney and regional Writers Festivals. She won the Don Banks Poet of the Year in 2019. Her work has been published in “Australia reMade”, also the recent anthology “Water Access Only”. Another of her poems is to be included in the Don Banks Thirty Year Anthology. Beth lives in Mona Vale on Sydney’s Northern Beaches and swims in the local rock pool right through the year. Aside from writing, singing and music have been other life-long passions.
Beth Jessup

A volunteer for Sophie Scamps in Mackellar,

Beth wrote this poem the day after the election. 

Pizza and conversation around the table – Beth is spotlit – (Photo: Leonie Scarlett)

They Listened to the Voices

And so,  

The people took charge 

Of the Country  

In it’s near wreckage 

Of climate, humanity and ethics 

Much like after 

A tornado 

When the Amish  

Come to rebuild,  

Raise the barn  

Of a friend 



Quietly they met  

In kitchens,  

Around tables 

Women mostly,  

Singles, mothers of families 


And some good men 

Shared coffee, tea, wine,  

Pizzas, cakes and stories 

Of their dreaded concerns 

Their ideas, their hopes and  

Dreams for a better world  


And they slowly  

Started to rebuild “the Village”, 

In one kitchen  

Then another 

And then another 


With sleeves rolled up 

They spread  

Their big idea 

To listen to the people 

And with united will, 

The tipping point was reached 


A grassroots movement 

Some called it 

But more than that 

In the coming together 

Of these hidden, unheard voices 

They unearthed what was missing 

In their own lives 

Community, real community 

Of like minds 

Who found that in the power of giving  

Much was born and gained 


They built their tribe 

On camaraderie, friendship, kindness 

And hard, honest work 

The sharing of something for the whole 

Became the force  

Of this movement 

They became the voice 

Of the people 

And in return the citizens, 

Raised their voice in the cities and villages  


So, a new day dawns in Australia 

A quiet, inner glow has settled 

In the hearts of millions  

Maybe this people’s movement 

To save our beautiful Earth 

Could spread to other kitchens  

In other Countries 

This Barn has been raised  

And it’s strong and good 

And will weather whatever comes 

It’s built on firm ground 

Of love, truth and shared humanity 


The last wave – Beth Jessup, Mackellar (Photo: Leonie Scarlett)


Feature image: Listening to the Voices – #MackellarVotes (Photo: Leonie Scarlett)


No Fibs #MackellarVotes coverage