Robyn Sykes is a multi-award-winning bush poet with a passion for entertaining. Since winning the Australian Championship (2012) and Golden Damper (2013) the versatile performer has enthralled audiences in Norfolk Island, King Island, New Zealand, WA, Qld, Vic, Tas, ACT, NSW and more.
Her interest in the performing arts was kick-started in 1969 when as an 11-year-old she won the NSW Arts Council’s Best Junior Actress (Under 17) in New South Wales.
After graduating from and working at Sydney University, in 1983 Robyn moved with her BSc (Hons) to her husband’s family farm near Binalong, where she spent the next 30 years writing, observing and learning. She raised four sons, had short stories, articles and poetry published, edited the Yass Tribune and memorised poems.
The Binalong Bard has featured at festivals including Folk by the Sea (Kiama 2017) Turning Wave Festival (Yass 2017) Boyup Brook CMF (2017) Merriwa Festival of the Fleeces 2016, North Pine Bush Poets Camp Oven Festival 2015, Harden Gold Trails 2015, National Folk Festival (2014) Tasmanian Poetry Festival 2014, Turning Wave (Reciter of the Year 2013) among many others.
As President of Binalong Arts Group Inc, Robyn coordinated the hugely successful NSW Bush Poetry Championships in Binalong in 2014 and 2016. She was part of the team behind the Johnny Gilbert 150th anniversary re-enactment in 2015, which drew 2000 people to Binalong (pop 250).
Robyn is a regular performer at St Lawrence’s Retirement Village Harden, Binalong Arts Group’s bimonthly Brush with Poetry and Wombat Pub Poets. She entertains community groups eg Rotary, Lions, View Club, CanAssist and Probus and organises the poetry at the Yass Show.
Voices of the Fire, Robyn’s first book and CD, was a finalist in Australian Bush Laureate Awards 2014 for Album of the Year (Voices of the Fire), Published Poem of the Year (Lovely Lies) and Single of the Year (Old Bill’s Regret). A new CD Thoughts, Rorts and Farming Sorts is hot off the press, with a book still in the pipeline.
Robyn’s mantelpiece bears the evidence of numerous awards in written poetry competitions, including the prestigious Bryan Kelleher and two Henry Lawsons (NSW and Victoria).