Tell us What Matters these school holidays

What Matters

The school holidays are a chance to take a break, refresh, and spend some time with family and friends. They are also a good time to sit back and think about what really matters in life – and to share your ideas with the Whitlam Institute.

The 2012 What Matters? Competition, proudly sponsored by Officeworks,  is calling for students in years 5-12 in NSW and ACT schools to submit a 400-600 word opinion piece on the issues in society that are important to them.

Director of the Whitlam Institute within the University of Western Sydney, Mr Eric Sidoti, says the What Matters? Competition is designed to give young people an opportunity to have their voices heard.

"Young people have a unique perspective on the world. Each year, we are bowled over by the freshness, the passion and the compassion in what they have to say," says Mr Sidoti.

Officeworks Communications Manager, Felicia Booth, says the quality and diversity of entries continue to impress each year.

"The What Matters? Competition is a vital component of Officeworks' commitment to education and young people. We are proud to once again be involved in 2012," says Ms Booth.

This year, the overall competition winner will receive a laptop and software package from Officeworks. Each category winner will be awarded $350, and a runner-up in each category will be awarded $200.

Winners and runners-up will receive their prize at an awards ceremony, following their participation in a Young Writers Forum at the University of Western Sydney's Parramatta campus. Winning entries will be published in print and online.

The Year 11/12 category winner will also be offered the opportunity to participate in ReachOut's ReachOutReporters multimedia content producing program, receiving professional training and the opportunity to be published online and paid for their work.

The category winners from years 5/6, 7/8 and 9/10 will each receive a full-day creative writing workshop donated by The Writing Workshop, conducted by award-winning author Bernard Cohen.

Further, all participating schools will go into a major prize draw for their chance to win one of five $1000 Officeworks spending sprees.

Entries close Friday 4 May 2012. For more information, contact the Whitlam Institute within the University of Western Sydney on 02 9685 9187, or keep in touch on Facebook.