What Matters? winner questions impact of stories on the news

What Matters 2013
What Matters 2013
What Matters 2013
What Matters 2013
What Matters 2013

A year 9 student just 14 years old, Jumaana Abdu, has won the University of Western Sydney Whitlam Institute’s 'What Matters?' competition for 2013.

Jumaana, from James Ruse Agricultural High School, wrote a piece about the impact of stories on the news relating to children in conflict zones.

She says the inspiration of her essay ‘Where are the children?’ was a documentary on ABC about a Syrian boy in the middle of a war zone.

Jumaana would like the audience to ask themselves, “What first comes to mind when you hear the word reality?” The response will probably be TV shows.

“Too often we turn our faces away from the real world, and that which is ‘reality’,” says Jumaana.

Jumaana and the other finalists gathered at the Female Orphan School at the UWS Parramatta campus on Monday 29th July to participate in a Young Writers Forum, run by The Writing Workshop(opens in a new window), and attended an awards ceremony where the category winners, category runner ups and the overall winner were announced.

As overall winner of the competition, Jumaana receives an iPad courtesy of Officeworks and the winners of each category receive a certificate as well as a monetary prize.  Years 5/6 and 7/8 category winners will also each receive a full day creative writing workshop, donated by The Writing Workshop, conducted by award winning author Bernard Cohen.

Students were presented with their awards by Governor Marie Bashir. UWS Chancellor Professor Peter Shergold, UWS Vice-Chancellor Professor Janice Reid, Eric Sidoti, Director Whitlam Institute, and Dr Hugh Mackay What Matters? competition patron, were also in attendance.

Category winners and runner-ups, selected from more than 2,700 entries, were as follows:

Year 5/6 Category 
Winner: Jared Hui, Glenmore Road Public School, 'Hammering Homelessness'
Runner-Up: Georgia Deen, Minnamurra Public School, 'Living Life'

Year 7/8 Category
Winner: Martha Reece, Hunter School of the Performing Arts, 'Resurrection Project'

Year 9/10 Category
Winner: Jumaana Abdu, James Ruse Agricultural High School, 'Where are all the children?'
Runner-Up: Eleanor Boxall, St Catherine’s Waverly, 'Carlo’s Story'

Year 11/12 Category
Winner: Esha Kumar, Sefton High School, 'Techno-Relationships'
Runner-Up: James Nash, Coonabarabran High, 'Battle on the Home Front'

30 July 2013

Photos: Sally Tsoutas 

Contact: Tanya Patterson, Media Officer