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2024 Dr Tamara Agnew Essay Prize

Theme: What Matters?

**Scroll to the end of this page to upload your essay submission**


The Dr Tamara Agnew Essay Prize aims to recognise exceptional essay writing skills among students, encouraging critical thinking, original research, and creative expression on the theme “What Matters”.

Theme: What Matters?

In recent years, the term “unprecedented” has been frequently used to describe a wide range of events, including the global pandemic, climate change, high unemployment rates, strained healthcare systems, soaring inflation, transformative advancements in AI, the rise of electric vehicles, and widespread social and political upheaval. Considering these events, along with any others that hold personal meaning, what lessons have you learned about what truly holds significance? Consider this in the context of a young person living in the world, and craft an essay.

Accepting creative, expository, persuasive, reflective or descriptive essays.

  • Creative: showcases your creativity in developing and presenting an original piece of work.
  • Expository: inform, describe, or explain a topic.
  • Persuasive: persuade readers on a certain point of view, opinion, or position on a topic
  • Reflective: “reflect” upon your own experiences and perspectives on the topic you are writing about.
  • Descriptive: describe something, usually an experience, in details so that the reader can get a good impression of it


  • Open to all current St Ann’s students.
  • Essays must be original, unpublished works and written by the applicant.

Submission Guidelines:

  • Only one entry per person.
  • Essays should be between 1,000 – 3,000 words.
  • Submissions must be double-line spaced in 12-point font.
  • Entry must include a unique essay title that matches the one on the entry form.
  • Appropriate and correct referencing styles should be used where necessary (APA7 or Harvard or Numbered).
  • Essays must be submitted online and as a word document so that the review process can be completed online.

Judging Criteria:

Essays will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Style & presentation: attention to punctuation, spelling, grammar, composition, and where necessary, referencing.
  • Language: vocabulary is appropriate to the subject and style.
  • Form & structure: sentence length and paragraph breaks enhance the clarity and meaning of the writing.
  • Theme: the essay effectively explores or relates to the theme.
  • Originality: the idea, perspective, or presentation is unique and fresh.
  • Organization: clear development of ideas, showing a progression of thought in a clear and logical way.


  • The winner will receive $500 (prize donated by Tamara).
  • The first runner-up will receive $200 (prize donated by the College).

Terms and conditions

  • Entries must be original works and must not infringe upon anyone’s copyright.
  • Essays that are deemed to be works of plagiarism will be disqualified.
  • You may collaborate with another student and submit one essay with two or more authors; however, any prize money will be split between authors.

Judging Process:

  • Judging is anonymous.
  • The entrant’s name must not appear in the Word file or in the file name.
  • The three judges for the 2024 prize are Tamara Agnew, Lucy Fairlie-Jones and our independent judge is Professor Kate Douglas from Flinders University.
  • The judges’ decision is final.
  • St Ann’s reserves the right not to award a prize.
  • Anonymous essay submissions will be forwarded to Lucy and Tamara for judging and they will not have access to the online application until judging and deliberation is complete.


  • Winning essays may require a little editing prior to publishing. In this case, we will show the authors changes for their approval. You will be involved throughout editing process.
  • The winning essay will be published on the website and in the summer newsletter.
  • Authorship of the winning essays will be fully acknowledged.
  • Copyright in the winning essays resides with the authors.


  • Launch Date: 20 June 2024
  • Submission Deadline: 12.00pm, Friday 6 September
  • Winners Announced: Final Formal Dinner, 30 September 2024

Contact Information:

For any enquiries, please contact Tamara at tamara.agnew@stannscollege.edu.au

Dr Tamara Agnew Essay Prize Entry
Click or drag a file to this area to upload.