Jesuit Communications Australia (Jescom) has launched the Young Voices Awards, offering students around Australia the chance to advocate on issues of importance to them.

The Awards, open to all students around the country, have evolved from the Australian Catholics Young Journalist Awards, run by Jescom through Australian Catholics magazine for the past 25 years. The Awards this year expand to recognise a wider range of media including poetry, photography, video and audio as well as written-form journalism.

Sponsored by long-time Young Journalist Awards sponsor Australian Catholic University (ACU), the Awards give primary and secondary school students around the country a voice and the opportunity to be published in the largest circulation Catholic print publication in the country. Winning entries also feature on Australian Catholics digital channels.

‘Many thousands of students have taken part in the Young Journalist Awards since they were launched in the 1990s. However the world has changed enormously in that time’, said Jesuit Communications CEO Monika Lancucki.

‘The Young Voices Awards aim to encourage more young people to consider how they might use the tools and platforms now available to them to make a positive difference in the world.

‘Importantly they also provide the opportunity for young people to share their creativity and gifts with others and inspire their peers to use their skills, talents and passions for a meaningful purpose’, Ms Lancucki said.

‘We will still look to recognise powerful and compelling works but will no longer restrict the style of entries to written-form ‘journalistic’ pieces. Other communication styles and formats such as personal reflections and informative pieces as well as photography, video, audio, poetry and music will now also be eligible’, said Australian Catholics Editor Michael McVeigh.

‘Broadening the scope of the entries, makes it easier for teachers to incorporate the Awards into their lesson plans and opens up the opportunity for national recognition to more students.’

This year’s Awards will span three divisions:

  • Junior: Years 5 and 6
  • Intermediate: Years 7-9
  • Senior: Years 10-12

The Award is open to all students – not just those enrolled at Catholic schools. Entries close at 5pm, Friday 28 May 2021.