Aussie kids become award-winning authors about respect

Dept of Social Services

Winners of the Albanese Labor Government’s Stop it at the Start Respect Stories competition have been announced, with 10 school students selected from submissions across the nation.

Each winner was awarded $1,000 in prize money comprised of $500 for themselves and $500 for their school library, and their work published in the Respect Stories book.

Assistant Minister for Social Services and for the Prevention of Family Violence Justine Elliot said the Respect Stories competition was an important initiative to continue the conversation about respect and to reduce violence against women and children.

“Primary prevention initiatives like Stop it at the Start make a real change in our communities by encouraging adults to reflect on their own attitudes, and sparking conversations with young people about respect and respectful relationships,” Assistant Minister Elliot said.

“It has been fantastic to see the way young Australians understand and interpret what respect is.”

Winners were judged by Ms Maggie Dent, author, parenting and resilience educator, and Stop it at Start campaign ambassador, broadcaster, performer and entrepreneur, Ms Jo Stanley.

“The quality of the Respect Stories entries was exceptional. It was fantastic to see the level of talent amongst young Australians, in both written and visual form,” Ms Dent said.

Jo Stanley was impressed by the variety and depth of the entries.

“I have been inspired and deeply moved by the collection of entries. While they are so varied in their telling, they all show a sophisticated understanding of what respect is,” Ms Stanley said.

The competition was part of the fourth phase of the Stop it at the Start campaign, asking school students 10-14 years of age to explore what respect means to them through a written submission or through a creative illustration. Submissions included poems, essays stories and letters as well as posters, sketches and paintings.

To see the winning entries and to find out more about Stop it at the Start visit www.respect.gov.au/respectstories

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