Students called to write on social justice and What Matters? to them

What Matters? 

Don’t let your age get in the way of speaking up about what you believe in. People of all ages, gender and cultures make a significant difference to the world in which we live every day.

The Whitlam Institute within the University of Western Sydney is calling for students in years 5-12 across NSW and the ACT to utilise the power of the written word to evoke change.

If you have an idea about how you can improve a local, national or even a global issue then why not bring it to the forefront, put it in writing and enter the 2014 What Matters? Competition.

The competition, which closes on 6 May, calls on students to submit a 400-600 word opinion piece on the issues in society which are important to them.

The judges comprise of a group of highly qualified panellists who are waiting with great anticipation to receive your entry and get an understanding of what issues are important to today’s youth.  

Director of the Whitlam Institute within the University of Western Sydney, Mr Eric Sidoti, says the What Matters? Competition is a platform for young people’s ideas to be heard.

“Contrary to popular opinion our experience is that young people not only have strong views and deeply held convictions but are disarmingly articulate in putting them forward. Every year, thousands of students take the opportunity to have a say and their essays are often passionate and powerful. Reading these essays is one the highlights of our year,” says Mr Sidoti.  

Prizes for 2014 :
• The overall competition winner will receive an iPad.
• Each category winner will be awarded $350, and $200 for each category runner-up.
• The Years 5/6 and 7/8 category winners will each receive a full-day creative writing workshop donated by The Writing Workshop, conducted by award-winning author Bernard Cohen.
• The Year 9/10 category winner will also be invited to spend a day at the Inspire Foundation, meeting the Crew and receiving professional training.  They will also be offered the opportunity to be paid $200 to produce a feature article for the website.
• The Year 11/12 category winner will receive a 1 Year Membership to the NSW Writers' Centre, and the opportunity to participate in a one-day writing workshop donated by the NSW Writers' Centre. The Year 11/12 category winner will also receive a book voucher to the value of $100.
• 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.

All winning entries will be published in print and online.

Entries close Tuesday 6 May 2014.  Entry forms can be downloaded from

For more information, contact the Whitlam Institute on (02) 9685 9187, or keep in touch on Facebook at

14 March 2014
By submitting a comment you acknowledge you agree with the Terms and Conditions.