Whitlam Institute

What Matters 2018 Finalists

What Matters 2018 Finalists

2018 What Matters? TAS Year 11/12 Runner Up


Patriotic Cancer


Launceston College

Come one! Come all! Ladies and gentlemen roll up to see the fall of Rome! Yes, you too can watch the empire crumble through your iPhone screen. Watch as one pillar crashes into another, leaving only smashed marble for historians to find and wonder ‘what went wrong?’ If they learn, will they ignore our story? We have learned, will we ignore ours?

Come watch the fall of the new Rome! Hail to your Gods, Facebook and Google who watch from far above, collecting your lusts and lies to twist for their own advantage. Hail your mighty emperor, the glorious golden Caesar! No need for worry, he claims, it is all fake news. The country on fire and innocent corpses on the street, forgotten by those who promised to save them. It is all fake news and always somebody else’s fault.

 Watch the fall of the new Rome! Come, watch the fall of your values! Justice is ignored, Representation abandoned, Equity forgotten, and Freedom locked away. Liberty weeps as her sisters shrivel and die. Come watch the fall of democracy! But it doesn’t matter, does it? Anything, anything in exchange for some change or action. Anything in exchange to make the world better. Who needs a moral compass?

Come watch the fall of the new Rome! The games are about to begin! Flock to the new Colosseum, decorated with sparkles and flashing lights. Cheer as they tear each other apart, using words instead of weapons and their armour high-end fashion instead of steel. Meanwhile, wars are fought, invasions waged in the darker corners where nobody wants to look. Me too, the invaded cry. Cry for hope, cry for change.

Come watch the fall of the new Rome! Cast your eyes across the sea where the new vikings live in peace. The ideas that we struggle with, the problems we cannot solve are answered there, where the children learn in harmony, the mothers bear their children safely, without fear of attack from their own people. Come watch as Scandinavia chuckles at our incompetence, popcorn in its hands, watching the show. But what do they know? Our eyes are fixed so firmly upon Rome, upon Caesar that we do not care. Their children fall, and our solution becomes their problem. We fix our solution. For surely, a mighty empire cannot be wrong?

Come watch the fall of the New Rome! You too, will be able to tell your descendants how a mighty nation fell and how we fell with it. A proud nation, with the bones of glorious peoples beneath their towers of babel, slaves to a country who were drunk on freedom, innocent corpses lying on the streets and a golden Caesar who assures us he will make the nation great again, make you proud again. So, I ask you, oh new Rome . . .

What was there to proud of?

2018 What Matters?Jenna Beck