What Matters? Writing Competition




What Matters? is an annual writing competition run by the Whitlam Institute. Inspired by Gough Whitlam's commitment to involving young people in the shaping of Australia's future, the competition is open to NSW and ACT school students in years 5 to 12. Responding to the simple question 'what matters?', entrants are free to express their views on any matter they care about.


The competition receives thousands of entries covering a wide range of subjects, expressed in an array of writing styles. On this page, you can find information about how to enter What Matters?, browse through winning entries from previous years, and see photos from past award ceremonies.



"For the children of Australia... the answer is to involve the creative energies of our children and our youth in a creative, concerned community"


- Gough Whitlam, 1972

What Matters? 2015  

What Matters 2014 


What Matters 2013 


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