Media Alert: Gough Whitlam to congratulate young achievers

Date: 04/06/2009

The Hon. Gough Whitlam, AC QC, will attend a special Whitlam Institute awards ceremony on Thursday, June 4 2009, at the University of Western Sydney's Parramatta campus.

The media are invited to attend the event, beginning at 10:00am, which will see Mr Whitlam congratulate the winners of the Whitlam Institute's 'What Matters?' essay competition, proudly sponsored by Officeworks.

'What Matters?' is an opportunity for students in years 5-12 in NSW and ACT schools to have their voices heard, by submitting a 400-600 word opinion piece on the issues in society that are important to them.

This year, a record number of 1114 students from across NSW and the ACT took part in the competition, submitting entries on a wide range of topics such as obesity, bullying, world poverty, social responsibility, global warming, and the importance and power of the inquiring mind.

Competition patron Dr Hugh Mackay will present the winners of each category with a certificate signed by Mr Whitlam, as well as a monetary prize and an invitation to attend a young writer's workshop.

As an additional prize, ActNow, an initiative of the Inspire Foundation, will also offer the year 11/12 category winner a place in their 'Cash for Comment' writing program, where they will be invited to participate in an all expenses paid two-day workshop and have the opportunity to be paid for their work.

On the day, five participating schools will also be announced as the winners of Officeworks gift cards to the value of $1,000 each.

The Whitlam Institute, established within the University of Western Sydney, pursues the causes the Whitlam Government championed such as health, democratic reform, social welfare, education, immigration, and urban and regional development.

The school-based 'What Matters?' competition was established as a means to demonstrate young Australians' passion for social justice and their engagement with the world around them.

WHAT: 'What Matters?' awards ceremony
WHEN: 10:00am, Thursday June 4 2009
WHERE: Female Orphan School, UWS Parramatta campus, corner James Ruse Drive and Victoria Road

Note to the Media: Media are welcome to attend the event and take pictures and record any speeches that are made. However, Mr Whitlam will not be available for one-on-one interviews on the day and there will be no doorstop.



Media Officer

Danielle Roddick
02 9678 7086, 0414 308 701