Noosa student runner-up in national writing competition

Former Noosa student Dakota Brown relaxing on the Noosa River.

Powerful and evocative writing have helped a school student from Noosa to be a runner-up in the 2020 RD Walshe Writing for the Environment Awards.

This year’s competition invited people up to the age of 25 to submit a piece under the topic, I am Earth.

Dakota Brown, a student at the University of the Sunshine Coast in her third year of a Bachelor in the Creative Industries, is runner-up in the national competition with her story, Lungs on Fire.

SSEC Chair Tassia Kolesnikow said they were delighted and overwhelmed with the passion of young people for the environment.

“It seems the competition has tapped into young people’s desire everywhere to express themselves and their concerns about the environment,“ she said.

“We see youth from around the world marching for climate. The RD Walshe writing award brings people from around Australia to say, ‘Hey, we care about the Earth. It’s got to be protected.’”

Ms Brown said writing was a form of therapy for her.

“It’s how I articulate myself and my view on the world,“ she said.

“I am passionate about environmental sustainability. Yet, to be honest, I know there is definitely room for me to improve myself there – being a part of this competition has incredibly motivated me to be a better human for the planet in a myriad of ways.”

Ms Brown said she has recently started working for SmartPups Charity Shop in Cooroy.

“This is an organisation that trains Golden Retrievers and Labradors into Assistance Dogs for children with special needs,“ she said.

“Being a part of this community is wonderful. It is teaching me what it means to be selfless on a whole new level.“

One of the judges, Pam Cook, a published author, said all entries were of a very high standard.

“I truly hope these writers continue developing their talents and I do think the Earth is in good hands if the sentiments expressed in these pieces are indicative of the attitudes of our young in relation to caring for the Earth.“

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