Our own generational change

Eureka Street publishes articles about society and culture with a particular characteristic — reasoned ethical argument based on humane values.

Handing responsibility to younger people is a factor lurking in the background of the election campaign, as the major parties struggle to convince voters that they're relevant and focused on the future. For Eureka Street, we're looking to encourage a new generation of writers able to bring ethical argument and human values to their treatment of society and culture.

Within the past few years, we've sought to do this through offering prizes to young writers who contribute essays with these characteristics. The prize money for the Margaret Dooley Award is donated by Eureka Street supporter Brendan Dooley, in memory of his wife Margaret, who died in 2004.

Entries for this year's award closed last month. During the past week, the judge Fr Kevin McGovern has communicated his decisions to us, and we have notified the winners. Fr McGovern has taught ethics and moral theology at the tertiary level for the past ten years. He is currently the Director of the Caroline Chisholm Centre for Health Ethics, which is sponsored by Victoria's Catholic hospitals.

There are three prize winners.

The first prize is awarded to Sophie Rudolph of Victoria.
She draws on a variety of material such as the Shoah and the slave trade in England, to argue that the failure to acknowledge past hurts and injustices condemns the Howard Government to repeating the mistakes of the past in its efforts towards Aboriginal reconciliation. Sophie's second essay is about the ethics of travel, and it demonstrates her versatility as a writer. She argues that international travel requires ethical justification, and this can be achieved through a traveller's deliberate attempt to enter into conversation with those whose land is visited.

The second prize winner is Michelle Coram of South Australia. She writes about work-life balance, in a reflection on her own experience of a pilgrimage trail in Spain. Her shorter essay chronicles the development of relationships during a gap year she took at the age of 30.

The third prize goes to Simon Reeves of Victoria.
He reflects on his arrest this year at a non-violent action at Shoalwater Bay. His second essay presents a reasoned defence of pacifism.

Congratulations to the three prize winners. Selections from their entries will be published in coming issues of Eureka Street, and we hope that you will see more of their writing in the future. Thank you to Brendan Dooley for his support of the award, and to all who contributed essays.

Michael MullinsMichael Mullins is editor of Eureka Street.





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