About the ‘What Matters?’ Writing Competition
What Matters? is a writing competition open to Australian school students in years 5 to 12. It’s inspired by Gough Whitlam’s commitment to involving young people in shaping Australia’s future. Students are asked to respond to the simple question ‘what matters?’ and are free to express their views on any matter they care about.
Part writing exercise, part civics and citizenship activity, What Matters? is the perfect opportunity to empower students to raise their voices on issues that are important to them. To know that their perspectives are valuable, no matter their age, background or viewpoint.
Entries can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry or prose of up to 600 words, and are submitted online at What Matters? Writing Competition. Students can enter through their school, or from home via the website. Entries close on Friday, 5 May 2023.
National Awards and Prizes
The What Matters? writing competition is run by the Whitlam Institute (within Western Sydney University).
There are some amazing prizes to be won for students and their schools. Prizes are awarded for Overall Winner, Category Awards and Sponsored Awards. Check out the What Matters? Prize Pool for more information.
Discover the 2022 winning entries by accessing the Whitlam Institute’s website.
Tasmanian State Awards and Prizes
Tasmanian students who enter the national competition are automatically entered into What Matters? Tasmania. Like the national competition, prizes are awarded in four categories: Years 5/6, 7/8, 9/10 and 11/12.
Category Winners receive $350, and $200 is awarded to each Category Runner Up.
An Overall Tasmanian Winner is selected from the Category Winners. They will receive an additional prize provided by the Department for Education, Children and Young People.
For more information about the Tasmanian State Awards, contact Learning Events firstname.lastname@example.org.
2022 Tasmanian State Award Winners
- Category Winner – Zoe Gangell ‘The Line Went Silent’ (PDF, 101KB)
- Runner Up – Nicola Morgan ‘What Matters is Time’ (PDF, 95KB)
- Highly Commended – Amelia Donaldson ‘Forever Fragile’ (PDF, 94KB)
- Highly Commended – Emma Elliott ‘I’m About to ask you to Believe Something Radical’ (PDF, 96KB)
- Category Winner – Freya Smith ‘Stories Matter’ (PDF, 98KB)
- Runner Up – Oenone Schofield ‘A Toast – To Bringing Back the Good Times’ (PDF, 97KB)
- Highly Commended – Dorcas Sezabo ‘Seeking protection’ (PDF, 96KB)
- Category Winner – Eve Charlesworth ‘Summer Days’ (PDF, 98KB)
- Runner Up – Hamish Ayre ‘The Pirate of Maria Island’ (PDF, 96KB)
- Highly Commended – An Le ‘YOU’ (PDF, 94KB)
- Category Winner – Lucy Breen ‘Different but the Same’ (PDF, 96KB)
- Runner Up – Pallavi Haribhakth ‘She is Perfect’ (PDF, 94KB)
- Highly Commended – Jorgia Eyles ‘Weathering the Storm’ (PDF, 96KB)
Overall Tasmanian Winner