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MAGIS - Integrated Learning: What Matters?


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Sustainability Times is an online hub for news, debate and analysis on a variety of environmental issues. Use keyword searching and tabs to locate research on topic.

Whitlam Institute: What Matters 2020

What Matters? is a 'catalyst for young thinkers and young writers to develop a perspective, a point of view, on where we're heading as a society'.

It is a writing competition whereby students submit an original work between 400-600 words responding to the simple question 'What Matters?'.

What Matters 2021 Finalists

This is a link to 2021 Finalists in all divisions of the What Matters Writing Competition. Reading these may be useful in gaining an understanding of appropriate topics. Students needing assistance in digging deeper may benefit from reading these.

Ideas for What Matters Writing Competition

Ideas for What Matters Writing Competition

Some suggestions for What Matters Writing Competition are below under topic headings. This list is not exhaustive and could be used as a guide for students looking for inspiration. 


  • land rights
  • change the date
  • reconciliation
  • closing the gap
  •  incarceration rates
  • high unemployment 
  • racism
  • intergenerational trauma


  • climate change
  • melting ice caps
  • heritage land
  • littering and impact on wildlife
    and waterways
  • ozone layer depletion
  • indigenous land
  • food waste
  • deforestation
  • plastic pollution
  • water insecurity
  • food insecurity


  • youth homelessness
  • escaping abusive environments
  • housing stress
  • couch-surfing
  • access to adequate food
  • not having a safe place to sleep
  • mental health and homelessness
  • drug use

People born overseas

  • racism
  • sense of identity
  • belonging


  • detention centres
  • detainment of children

Mental Health

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • eating disorders
  • body image disorders

DiscriminationLGBTIQ issues

  • Violence against LGBTIQ


Children and Young People

  • Family conflict

  • Study pressures

  • Mental health



Young people in rural and remote areas


  • Having little privacy 

  • Having ‘nothing to do’

  • Pessimism about future prospects/employment

  • Alcohol and drug use


Rural and remote areas


  • Drought

  • Access to health care

  • Isolation

  • Mental health




  • Vaccinations

  • Long Covid

  • Restrictions

Library Research Lesson Slideshow