Winners of the 2013 LHP Essay Competition Announced

Winners of the 2013 LHP Essay Competition Announced

Two Wellingtonians and a Christchurch resident have won the first annual “Another World is Possible” essay competition. The competition was organized by the Labour History Project, to emulate a similar event held a hundred years earlier by Walter Nash, then a labour organizer and later a popular prime minister.

Mark Derby, organiser of the “Another World is Possible” competition, says it aimed “to inspire debate on alternative futures”. A total of more than 40 entries from throughout the country were received, remarkably similar to the number who entered the original competition a century ago. The oldest entrant was aged over 90, the youngest 17. A panel of three judges – Victoria University historian Cybele Locke, political commentator and trade unionist Matt McCarten, and journalist Jeremy Rose – assessed the entries anonymously, and independently of each other.

Derby says, “The judges’ decisions were fairly unanimous, but they tempered their admiration with criticisms. Entrants had very different ideas about what was expected of them, and this uncertainty was reflected in the varying nature and standard of the entries.”

The overall winner, receiving the first prize of $500 cash, was Ciaran Doolin of Christchurch. One judge said this entry “hinged on a vision of how powerful participatory democracy of ordinary people could be”.

Second prize winner, receiving $250, was Jane Blaikie of Wellington. A judge commented that Jane’s was “a deeply moving, personal story that gave real clout to the vision of freeing the poor.”

The youth (under 18) winner was 17-year-old Wellington schoolgirl Daisy Cadigan. Reading Daisy’s entry, said one judge, meant having “eyes opened to a brave new world where diversity and equality were not exclusive terms.”

The three winning essays appear below. The Labour History Project hopes to repeat this competition annually.

Ciaran Doolin’s essay can be downloaded here.

Jane Blaikie’s essay can be downloaded here.

Daisy Cadigan’s essay can be downloaded here.

For more information, contact:
Labour History Project
PO Box 27425
Marion Square