Whitlam Institute

What Matters? 2019 Shortlist

We were delighted that nearly 4500 students from around Australia participated in the competition this year. After some busy weeks of marking, the shortlist is in!

This year’s entries are as thoughtful as they are diverse, covering topics including the environment, equality, racism and media representation. Every entry was read and considered by an experienced marker, and it's our privilege to recognise all of the inspiring young Australians who participated.

The finalists will be announced in early August and all participants will receive a Participation Certificate in the coming weeks.


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Year 5/6 Shortlisted Entries

Tanush Kapoor, Willow Park, Waitara Public School

Holly Leersen, What Matters to Me?, Scotch Oakburn College

James, Hunger Calls, Caringbah North Public School

Isabel Loh, Happily Ever After, Abbotsleigh

Jessica Lok, Food Matters, Waitara Public School

Julia Maher, What Matters Most: The Life of a Bee, St James Catholic Primary School

Daisy Martin, Why?, Caringbah North Public School

Jack Pappas, History Repeats Itself and We Must Learn, Malvern Primary School

Emily Phi, Tick, tock, Waitara Public School

Tara Russo, Introverts - They Matter Too, Submitted Independently

Milan Shad-Sharpe, Belonging, Submitted Independently

Joseph Solina, Insects Matter, John Purchase Public School

Dilsha Sureshnair, Discrimination, New Lambton Public School

Oliver Ware, The Tarkine, Sutherland Public School

Isabella Xie, Riches and Rags, Pymble Ladies' College

Sophie Alexander, Resilience, Gib Gate, Mittagong

Joseph Assaf, P.O.V.E.R.T.Why?, Redfield College

Isla Beck, My Future, New Lambton Public School

Ella Beven, Venomous Words, Wandina Primary School

Lottie Bruce, Hope, Submitted Independently

Catherine Cole, Joy, Chelsea Primary School

Quinn Elliott, Cipanas village, Scotch Oakburn College

Liana Elsoufi, The Little Things Float Past, Green Valley Public School

Amie Gao, Imagination Matters, Waitara  Public School

Taskiya Gould, Loneliness  Matters, Arkana College

Eva Green, Just Pretending, St Raphael's Primary School

Emilia Grimes, The Rainbow of Us., Abbotsleigh

Genevieve Hartin, The Health of Indigenous Australians Matters, Pymble Ladies' College

Sophia Hemingway, Climate Change in 2070, Genazzano FCJ College

Ellie Hennessy, Reflection on Christchurch Massacre, Pymble Ladies' College

Year 7/8 Shortlisted Entries

Isabel McKeough, The Little Things, MLC Burwood

Keira Mulholland, Vaccinations Matter, Lindisfarne Anglican Grammar School

Frances O'Brien, Embrace the Different, Loreto Normanhurst

Emma Pallister, Sporting Equality - What Matters to Me, Roseville College

Samiksha Rajesh, To act or not to act - there is no question., Loreto Normanhurst

Gabrielle Ryan, Refugees: Agitating For Change In The Australian Media, Loreto Normanhurst

Saiharini Seetharaman, Aboriginal Inequality, Submitted Independently

Abi Shilkin, The Monster On My Shoulder, Carine Senior High School

Jessica Shimmon, Rain Matters, Castle Hill High School

Quindira Supriyono, Why Was I Thrown Out?, Bossley Park High School

Kotoko Takehara, Just. Breathe., Submitted Independently

Esther Tonkinwise, Doors, MLC Burwood

Ava Warhaftig, Just say sorry., Submitted Independently

Eric Wu, The Drought, Northern Beaches Secondary College

Hayley Andrews, Growth Mindset, St Phillip's Christian College

Emma Baldwin, Education: A Right Not a Privilege, North Sydney Girls High School

Jessica Barber, Bring offshore detainees into Australia, Loreto Normanhurst

Nina Barr, Banning Animal Testing, Castle Hill High School

Imogen Browne, Questions Matter, Castle Hill High School

Mabel Cardozo, Who am I?, Submitted Independently

Laura Chong, Time, Carlingford High School

Laura Francis, 'No Longer Needed' - MSF Doctors Need to be Brought back to Nauru, Loreto Normanhurst

Sophia Franze, Letter to Libby Gleeson, Domremy College

Talullah Gardiner, Sickened, Lisarow High School

Emma Geng, Poverty Matters, Submitted Independently

Ellissa Hatoum, Anxiety Attacks Matter, Amity college

Ruby Keast, My Story Matters, Castle Hill High School

Jasmine Khiroya, Contagious Kindness, Carlingford High School

Juliet Lipchin, The Last Ones, Ruyton Girls School

Year 9/10 Shortlisted Entries

Henry Openshaw, What Matters?, Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School

Julia Pulickal, A Monster's Wish, Submitted Independently

Kyla Rajkumar, Welcome!, Submitted Independently

Freya Roberts, Dawn Service Reflection, Submitted Independently

Jema Roozendaal, Chicken Soup, Moriah College

James Silsby, Memories, Arden Anglican School

Jarrad Sloan, What Matters, Collie Senior High School

Charlotte Steele, Battling the Culture of Global Warming Denial, Submitted Independently

May Tesfaye, Checkmate., Submitted Independently

Helen Tran, Media Representation, Castle Hill High School

Vanshita Udasi, Stars in the Ocean, Submitted Independently

Shirley Wang, All Lives Matter, Meriden School

Yasmine Webb, Not Sorry, Henry Kendall High School

Lina Zhang, They Never Said, Submitted Independently

Oliver Adam, What Matters, Shore

James de Kock, What Matters?, Shore

Emilyana Di Meco, All White Ribbons Fray, St Margaret's Anglican Girls' School

Laura Galati, On the floor of a public bathroom., Catholic Ladies College

Joly Harrison-Murray, Piroetting out of Society's Shackles; Boys and Ballet, Scotch College

Judith Hopkins, Drought, Frensham School

Libby Hoyle, Modern Fairy Tale, Submitted Independently

Joshua Ive, The Path of a Trillion Souls, Croydon Community School

Mia Ketteringham, Fade In, St Joseph's Catholic High School

Amaya Liyanage, Rumour Has It, Loyola College, Watsonia

Evonne Lu, Growing up, Submitted Independently

Talisen Magee, Drought in a small town... A common Australian Experience., Coonabarabran High School

Maya Neish, Chained dreams, St Mary's Anglican Girls School

Tram Nguyen, Irreplaceable - Fiction Books, Submitted Independently

Kristie Nguyen, With Each Flicker..., Canley Vale High School

Year 11/12 Shortlisted Entries

Femke Keywood, Our Mother, Holy Spirit College

Fareeha Khan, Read. Learn. Understand., Submitted Independently

Emily Koumakis, An Inescapable Panopticon, Holy Spirit College

Thomas Kuessner, The ethical ramifications of tutoring, The Scots College

Hayley Little, We can't, Marian College Ararat

Kelly Lun, The Day My Shoelaces Became Untied, North Sydney Girls High School

Merna Matti, A Fragile Future, Good Samaritan Catholic College

Qoratolain Hadika Naeemi, A Dying Planet, Submitted Independently

Cleo Newling, Perspective, Submitted Independently

Sara Oliver, Muted Keys, Submitted Independently

Campbell Pert, Math, The Scots College

Harri Walter, I'm Home, Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School

Sarah Winkler, Bubbles, Submitted Independently

Zi Yan Zhang, It's the same as You and I, Our Lady of Mercy College

Samantha Argent, This is what's important, this is what matters, Frensham School

Sam Aubin, Nothing Matters, Submitted Independently

Darsh Chauhan, Thirteen, Submitted Independently

Louis Denton, A Conversation?, Albury High School

Rynhardt Dohse, A Surfers Paradise, Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School

Emily Duff, Six Progressive Responses to Feminism, Asquith  Girls High School

Katya Gvozdenko, Opening the box, Submitted Independently

Jennifer Hao, The Universe, Submitted Independently

Sybella Harris, Sweeping Statements and Hollow Words, Frensham School

Veronica Hester, Climate Action; Our Obligation, Submitted Independently

Elisa Ho, Beetles, Submitted Independently

Mia Horsfall, The Air is Different Here, Frensham School

Natasha Huang, A hard pill to swallow?, Abbotsleigh

Brielle Hunt, Bilingual & Bicultural, School of Isolated and Distance Education

Renita Joseph, Cutlery Anxiety, Submitted Independently