What Matters? Tasmania: Double Honour for Zoe & Friends’

Posted on August 2, 2022

by Nadine Frick

On July 29, the Department of Education Tasmania organised and hosted the state awards ceremony for the 2022 What Matters? Tasmania Writing Competition held at the C3 Convention Centre in South Hobart. Zoe Gangell (Year 12) received her award for winning the Year 11/12 Category of the competition and was further honoured on the day by being named the Overall Winner for the Tasmanian region in this national competition.

What Matters? is an annual writing competition for Australian school students run by the Whitlam Institute out of Western Sydney University. What Matters? is part of the Institute’s civics education program and based upon former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam’s strong belief that the voices of young Australian citizens should be heard so that their ideas can shape our future.

Every year, Australian students are invited to write about what matters to them in a 600-word fiction or non-fiction, prose or poetry response. Just 600 words–and an entry that is an authentic piece of quality writing, exploring an important issue through an original and creative perspective.

Friday’s state ceremony was a fitting recognition and celebration of the work of our Tasmanian finalists. This year’s Tasmanian  judges–poet, Young Dawkins, and author, Robyn Mundy–were joined by the  Minister for Education, Children and Youth, the Honourable Roger Jaensch (who spoke via video) and the Director of the Whitlam Institute, John Juriansz, to honour this year’s finalists.

2022 What Matters? Tasmania Awards Presentation, July 29, 2022. Winner, Zoe Gangell (Year 12), holding certificates recognising her Category and Regional wins, with the Director of the Whitlam Institute, John Juriansz (far left) and 2022 Tasmanian judges, Young Dawkins and Robyn Mundy. Photo: Jonathan Wherrett.

Of the 262 Tasmanian entries, and out of all the finalists, Zoe’s short story, ‘The Line Went Silent’–a powerful depiction of youth suicide–was chosen as the overall regional winner and Zoe has been invited to attend the national awards ceremony in Sydney, her entry now in the running to win the national comp.

Zoe’s entry, as well as those of all Tasmanian finalists, can be read on the Department of Education’s What Matters? Tasmania page and we congratulate Zoe on her excellent achievements in the 2022 What Matters? Tasmania Writing Competition.