Students share inspiring family stories

Asheriya Charan and Michael McVeigh (Australian Catholics)

Family stories of courage, determination and faith are in abundance among the winning entries of this year’s Australian Catholics Young Journalist Award. Source: Australian Catholics.

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

Australian Catholics has been running the Young Journalist Award for more than 20 years. More than 400 students from across Australia entered this year’s competition, which was sponsored by Australian Catholic University.

“The quality of writing across the board was really high. It was really difficult to choose winners out of so many outstanding entries,” said Australian Catholics editor Michael McVeigh, who was a member of the judging panel alongside Jesuit Communications editorial consultant Fr Andrew Hamilton SJ and Australian Catholics assistant editor Michele Frankeni.

“The winning entries stood out because they offered a unique family story, they were strong examples of journalistic writing, and they had a bit of creativity and flair.”

The winners were recognised at a presentation ceremony at the Catholic Leadership Centre in Melbourne on August 11. A number of students were on hand to receive their awards, while others are being presented their awards at their schools.

There were two sections of the award – Intermediate (Years 7 to 9) and Junior (Years 5 and 6). The winners and runners-up in each section received trophies, cash prizes and prize packs courtesy of Penguin Random House.

The winner of the Intermediate Section was Asheriya Charan from Thomas Carr Secondary College in Tarneit, Victoria.

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.

The winner of the Junior Section was Jack Webber from St Joseph’s Primary School in Merewether, NSW.

Jack interviewed two people who had been brought together by a shared experience with cancer – one having gone through Hodgkins Lymphoma, and the other Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.

The winning articles can be found at


Catholic school students share inspiring family stories (Australian Catholics)

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