Westbourne congratulates Year 12M student Matteo Vavala on being one of a small group short listed for Melbourne University’s John Button School Prize. His essay, entitled ‘Australia’s National Perennial Arts Culture Crisis: Twenty-First Political Austerity, Reform and Disdain Exacerbates the State of the Arts’, is a well-argued, carefully researched investigation into the current circumstances surrounding government support for the arts.
An award for the best essay on a subject concerning Australia’s future, the John Button School Prize sets high standards for those entering, with judging criteria including the presentation of ‘a persuasive and clearly articulated point of view on a preferred solution, use of credible evidence’ and a ‘sense of passion and idealism’ in the writing. Clearly Matteo was able to meet these requirements. Currently studying an eclectic range of VCE subjects (including Japanese), Matteo is also very involved in the United Nations Youth Australia and has been a delegate to their global conferences – the 2020 event being conducted online as will the one in April of this year. A talented musician who plays the cello and piano, Matteo explains that his commitment to ‘helping others’ was inspired by his school trip to Cambodia. He is hoping to forge a career in international politics once he completes his tertiary studies.