A Better Australia Scholarship Winner
The Expert Editor congratulates Sophie Cusworth, Bachelor of Arts student at Melbourne University, for winning the 2014 A Better Australia Scholarship. This was her entry:
“As a student of social and political sciences, and with a heart for social justice, my ideal change for Australia takes the form of attitude alteration. Australia is characterised by its apparent orientation towards a ‘fair go’ for all. However, I wonder how often this claim is represented in our actions, words, and attitudes towards others; both as individuals in Australian society and in our present governmentality. Injustice (in the forms of racism, prejudice and governmental policies that target our country’s most vulnerable people) prevails when silence is kept, when toxic attitudes are inherited, and when fear-mongering takes place.
I hope to raise up new attitudes and values in three specific ways: through teaching new generations of children, who in the 21st century have more access to information and resources than ever before; through a career in politics in which I hope to facilitate change from the inside of our government; and through embodying the change that I strive for. I aim to be an example of love, compassion and respect. If awarded the scholarship, I would use the money for my educational expenses, which would in turn allow me to reduce my employment hours and increase my time spent volunteering with community organisations that work to facilitate change.”
We loved it because of her determination to change attitudes. In the absence of bold political leadership, Australia cannot change unless its people do, and we think that young people like Sophie can be catalysts for this.
Thank you to everyone who entered the scholarship program. We received over 200 quality entries. It’s clear to us that Australia is full of young people who are willing to challenge the status quo.
The reason for the scholarship is that we want young Australians to realise the huge potential they have and to think big. This means questioning conventional wisdom, whether political, economic or social, and having the belief that they can actually change it.
Altering the status quo is never easy, but we have the tools at our disposal to do so. Thanks to the Internet and the information and communication revolution, young people with transformational ideas can impact the world. This means that we are not insignificant parts of a worldwide system, but massively capable individuals in our own right.
The Expert Editor’s A Better Australia Scholarship Program won’t change the world, but we hope to provide a small impetus to students who just might.
Stay tuned for details about the 2015 competition, it’s just around the corner and we’ll update the website with more details shortly!