Climate for change - Young Voices Awards 2023

Staff 7 February 2023

It’s time for young people to have their say. Students are invited to enter this year’s Australian Catholics Young Voices Awards.

Keen to promote issues in your community or to effect change? Then consider entering the 2023 Australian Catholics Young Voices Awards (YVA). Brought to you in conjunction with Australian Catholic University, the theme for this year is ‘Climate for change’.

Who are the change makers in your community? How do you make effective change? What is the best environment for change? These are all questions you could consider when entering the awards.

The YVA is open to secondary school and senior primary school students – Junior (Years 5 and 6); Intermediate (Years 7 to 9); or Senior (Years 10 to 12). Teachers are encouraged to incorporate this theme into classroom planning so that students can submit their assessment to the competition or interested students can submit original projects individually.

Each section has three entry categories: articles, photographs and digital (video or podcast). This year, prizes will be awarded for each category. A selection of the best entries will appear in the magazine (with permission from the creator and their parents).

It’s a fantastic way to promote your message. So let us hear your voice.
Before you start:
1. Choose a topic that inspires you and considers the topic ‘climate for change’.
2. How might you get other people thinking about your topic? Is there someone you can interview? Is there an inspiring story you can share? How can you be creative so you can capture people’s attention with something different?
3. What format works best? Do you need to write an article, or could you present the topic through photographs? Could you record a podcast, or film a video? What will you have the most enjoyment doing?
Our judges will be looking for writing that engages readers from the outset and presents a compelling story or argument around a particular issue related to the theme ‘Climate for Change’. Judges value precise language choice, control of genre, accurate spelling and grammar, and creative flair. You could write a journalistic article, interviewing people and sharing their perspectives. You could write an informative article, sharing facts and figures in a creative way. You could write a personal reflection, sharing your own ideas and experiences. You could even write an imaginative piece, engaging people with the power of stories.
Required word length: No more than 400 words (Junior) or 600 words (Intermediate and Senior).
Our judges will be looking for powerful images that affect how we see a particular issue related to the theme ‘Climate for change’. Judges are looking for thoughtful composition, audience appeal, effective messaging and creativity. Think about what will have an impact on audiences: What do people need to see? What will best tell the story you want to tell? What might inspire people to change?
Requirements: Between one and four original photos, with a 30- to 50-word caption.
Our judges will be looking for podcasts or videos that understand how these mediums can inspire and influence people to create an argument in response to the theme ‘Climate for Change’. Judges will be looking for effective design, high production values, effective editing, a cohesive story or argument and creative flair. You could feature a one-to-one interview with someone sharing their story or have a single presenter unpacking a topic in an interesting or imaginative way. Make sure you consider how you might use different audio or visual elements to keep the audience’s attention.
Requirements: Entries (audio or visual) should be no more than three minutes long (Junior) or five minutes long (Intermediate and Senior) and should be accompanied by a transcript.
Entries are due by 5pm, Friday 26 May 2023.
Enter using one of the following links:
Junior entry form
Intermediate entry form
Senior entry form


Terms and conditions:
•          Entries must be the work of individual students – team entries are not accepted. Only one entry per student will be accepted. 
•          Entries can only be submitted electronically using the above submission forms. Please ensure all details, including teacher contact details, are supplied. Please follow the instructions and requirements on the entry forms. 
•          Print entries: Entries must not exceed 400 words for Junior section (Year 5 and 6) and 600 words for Intermediate section (Year 7, 8 and 9) and Senior Section (Year 10, 11 and 12). 
•          Photo entries: Entries should include between two and four photos, and one 30- to 50-word caption covering all the photos. 
•          Digital entries: Entries should be no more than three minutes long (Junior) or five minutes long (Intermediate and Senior) and should be accompanied by a transcript. 
•          All entries must have a unique, relevant title. 
•          Closing date for entries is 5pm Friday 26 May 2023. Entries arriving after this date will not be accepted. 
•          The decision of the judges is final. Winners will be notified via their school before the Spring 2023 edition goes to press.
•          Winning articles and images will be published in the Spring 2023 issue of the magazine. Digital entries will be posted on our website. All winning entries will need release forms from the parents/guardians of the students, as well as the subjects if they are under 18. Prizes will be forwarded to the school for distribution.
•          Classwork related to the topic is welcome. But we encourage teachers to select the best five entries from the class set for submission to the competition. Consider running your own competition to vote on the best five entries to be submitted, to get the whole class involved.


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