Australian Catholics Young Journalist Award 2019

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28 August 2019

Asheriya Charan with Australian Catholics editor Michael McVeigh.Two students from Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Melbourne were crowned winner and runner-up in the Intermediate Section (Years 7 to 9) of the Young Journalist Award earlier this month.

The theme of this year’s competition was ‘the journey of a family’. Students were encouraged to find inspiring family stories in their community, interview those involved and write them up as stories for Australian Catholics magazine.

The winner of the Intermediate Section was Asheriya Charan from Thomas Carr College, Tarneit. Asheriya wrote about the journey of her grandfather, whose desire to start a successful business took him from Fiji to India, then to Melbourne, where he founded a Fiji produce store. She interviewed her mother, great-aunt and grandmother for the story, and explored the importance of education in giving her grandfather the opportunities he had in his life.

‘Nana (grandfather) believed in education and encouraged his children to learn’, she wrote. ‘Nana went against all odds to earn his education and used his family’s farming background to turn into a business.’

The runner-up in the Intermediate Section was Madeline McVeigh from Catholic Ladies’ College, Eltham. She interviewed a survivor of the Black Saturday bushfires for her article.

‘Interviewing Linda Roycroft was one of the most raw experiences of my life’, Madeline wrote. ‘I could see the pain and memories replay as she retold the horror of the Black Saturday bushfire that had affected her and her family.’

‘One of the things that impacted me the most is how it has changed her. She said, “You really think you’re in control of your life but in reality, that’s just an illusion”.’

The winners were recognised at a presentation ceremony at the Catholic Leadership Centre on Sunday 11 August 2019. They received trophies, cash prizes and prize packs courtesy of Penguin Random House.

More than 400 students from across Australia entered this year’s competition.

This is an extract of an article that was originally published on the Australian Catholics website on 14 August.