The 1998 Schools National Poetry and Art Competition was announced today by Bishop Kevin Manning, Chairman of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council (ACSJC).

Sponsored by the ACSJC, the competition is open to students in final year of primary through to Year 12 in Secondary Schools.

'The theme of this year's competition is 'Towards a Society for All Ages'. Ageing is the topic for this year's Social Justice Sunday Statement. Next year is the International Year of Older People', said Bishop Manning.

'This is the fifth year of the competition. It is proving highly successful. Each year we receive thousands of entries.

'This year we have expanded the competition to include artwork. Twenty-five works of art will be selected for inclusion with the one hundred winning poems for publication in an attractive anthology. It is an exciting opportunity for our young poets and artists to have their work published', said Bishop Manning.