Nearly 300 students from 33 schools in the ACT and parts of NSW put pen to paper in support of Anti-Poverty Week as part of Anglicare’s ‘Pens Against Poverty’ schools writing competition, expressing their heart for issues ranging from family to refugees.
The inspirational competition, which began in 2015, gives school students the opportunity during national Anti-Poverty Week (13-19 October) to write for a cause, use their imagination, and express their thoughts about social issues. The competition theme for 2019 was “Courage in Kindness” and poem and short story creative submissions were received from school students from grades 3 to 10.
“We’re so pleased to see so many local schools involved representing the Public, Catholic and Independent sectors,” says Jeremy Halcrow, Anglicare CEO. “With teachers and parents supporting children and young people during the competition, it helps generate conversations about helping others in need, which is the purpose of Anti-Poverty Week. Seeing the next generation develop knowledge and compassion around issues of social justice and inclusion is inspiring.”
Competition judge and renowned Australian author, Jackie French, was also inspired by the calibre of entries. “You can’t write about kindness or compassion without thinking about other people, and without trying to work out ways that these problems can be solved. [These entries] have given us an extraordinary gift,” says Jackie.
The competition was the initiative of a local Canberra teacher and supported by a range of Canberra-based community sector organisations including Anglicare ACT, ACTCOSS, Red Cross, Marymead, YWCA Canberra, and St Vincent de Paul. Major prizes were sponsored by Gallagher Insurance and HESTA. An awards ceremony will be held at Government House as part of Anti Poverty Week activities and will be attended by Governor General David Hurley and Mrs Hurley, and CEO of National Anti-Poverty Week, Toni Wren.
The ‘Pens Against Poverty’ Awards Ceremony will be held on Tuesday 15 October, 2:30pm at Government House in Canberra, with presentations by Governor General David Hurley.