Previous Awards

Previous Winners

2019

Congratulations to the winners of the 2019 Mercy Foundation Youth Awards! We received in excess of 300 entries and our judges were very impressed with the high standard of the entries.

The winners are:

First Prize: Phoebe T, Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College NSW

The student wins $700 and the school receives $700 to spend on social justice resources or to donate to a charity addressing social justice in Australia.

In 1963, my grandparents brought 832m2 of land in rural NSW 800km away from Sydney. Later that year my grandfather built his home on this area of land. My grandparents raised six children in this house and every year my family returns home.  This house has stood firm against major flooding, the worst being in 2012 when water levels rose 8.98 metres and 4 major droughts. This picture explores the idea of home as it is house my grandfather built and that stood through so much. I am proud and blessed to be able to return to this house.

Second Prize: Sienna W, St Aloysius’ College Adelaide SA

The student wins $350 and the school receives $350 to spend on social justice resources or to donate to a charity addressing social justice in Australia.

Equal Third Prize:  Tania H, Catherine McAuley College, Victoria and Annabelle N, Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College NSW

Each student wins $200 and the schools each receive $100 to spend on social justice resources or to donate to a charity addressing social justice in Australia.

Annabelle N:

To me, home means warmth, comfort, welcome, security and love, so I composed this photograph in a way that explores these ideas of home. Pillows symbolise comfort and love – key qualities of a welcoming home where one is loved and everyone feels comfortable. The fire represents warmth within the home – in a physical and psychological sense. Home is a place of shelter to keep warm, as well as a place of love and safety in which families feel warm in each other’s arms. Finally, the keys represent a secure home that one knows will always be there for them and is safe. The multiple keys and chain linked together represent all members of a home and how each individual belongs in the family.

Tania H:
You can easily give someone a roof over their head and call it a house, but it takes much more than that to provide a home. A home is where someone is continuously cared for, supported, free from harm and able to better their own living standards. In my photo, the elderly hand over the younger one symbolises this idea of giving security, compassion and a helping hand to someone who is vulnerable and in need. It creates the sense of comfort and love that says, “you have a home with me now, you don’t have to be afraid anymore”.

Highly Commended: $50 Vouchers

Elise I, Barrenjoey High School

Elsa G, Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College

Grace S-T, Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College

Isabelle P, Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College

Karima T, Catherine McAuley Westmead

Katya D, Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College

Leah W, Chanel College Gladstone

Lily H, Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College

Madalynne F-H, St Paul’s College Kempsey

Olivia F, Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College

Robert K, Oakhill College

Warsha W, Our Lady of Mercy College Parramatta

The school that submitted the most entries was Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College, with over 150 students submitting an entry.

Thank you to all the students who entered the competition.

2018

Congratulations to the following winners:

First Prize: $700 to the winning entrant and $700 to the wining school

Beth, Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College

Second Prize: $350 to the winning entrant and $350 to the winning school

Brooke, James Sheahan Catholic High School

Third Prize: $200 to the winning entrant and $200 to the winning school

Kiara, Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College

Highly Commended: $50 Vouchers were awarded to the following entries:
Chelsea, Mercy Catholic College Chatswood
Catherine, Good Samaritan Catholic College
Emma, Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College
Ethan, Mount Lilydale Mercy College
Isobel, Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College
Katherine, Blacktown Girls High School
Luka, Francis Greenway High School
Matthew, Patrician Brother’s College Fairfield
Miranda, Queenwood School
Nell, Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College
Tara, Mercy Catholic College Chatswood

The correct answers to the quiz are:

What are the key causes of homelessness in Australia?
Poverty and unaffordable housing are the primary causes of homelessness in Australia.

How many people sleep rough on any given night?
8,200 people

What solves homelessness?
For most people, affordable, appropriate housing solves homelessness.

2017

Congratulations to the winners of the Mercy Foundation Youth Awards for 2017! The theme for this year’s award was Ending Human Trafficking and Slavery in Australia. We received many excellent entries and our judges were very impressed with the efforts of students, their understanding of the issue and their plans to help abolish human trafficking and slavery in Australia. The winning videos will be uploaded in the coming weeks.

Congratulations to the following teams:

First Prize: Human Trafficking and Slavery – Jack and Matthew,  St Luke’s Grammar School Dee Why

The students share $700 cash and the school receives $700 to spend on social justice resources or to donate to a charity addressing social justice in Australia.

Second Prize: The Lucky Country – Ava, Jeremy, Ellen, Danielle, Nathan,  Mt Lilydale Mercy College Victoria

The students share $350 cash and the school receives $350 to spend on social justice resources or to donate to a charity addressing social justice in Australia.

 

Third Prize: What am I to you? – Molly and Adelaide, Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College

Agricultural Servitude
Alex and Inez, Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College

Each group receives $100 to share and the school receives $200 to spend on social justice resources or to donate to a charity addressing social justice in Australia.

Highly Commended

The day of a slave
Alice and Meg, Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College

I wish
Sarah, Claire, Ella and Chloe, Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College

Finalists

  • Good Samaritan Catholic College The Good Samaritan Project, Angelina and Mary-Joe
  • John Therry High Catholic High School Special Report Emily, Kaitlin and Chloe
  • Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College:
    • Idesah’s Story, Kate, Frederique and Charlotte
    • Domestic Servitude, Olivia, Angela and Olivia
    • The difference of two worlds, Tamara, Emily, Rose and Elliana
    • Human trafficking in domestic servitude in Australia, Kate, Elena, Olivia and Holly
    • Human Trafficking, Jessica, Jen, Olivia, Christine and Caroline
    • Behind Closed Doors, Kathryn, Ashley, Isabella and Philippa

Judges

With thanks to our guest judges:

  • Professor Jennifer Burn Director, Anti Slavery Australia
  • Ms Margaret Benjafield Board Member, Mercy Foundation

Ms Felicity Reynolds CEO, Mercy Foundation and Ms Sue Mowbray Manager, Projects and Communications Mercy Foundation were also on the judging panel.

Thank You

The Mercy Foundation sincerely thanks Professor Jennifer Burn for being a guest judge on the panel this year. Professor Burn is an Australian expert and leader in the field of anti-trafficking and anti-slavery.

We are also very grateful to Ms Laura Vidal from the Freedom Partnership – End Modern Slavery for her assistance and input in preparing the competition details.

We would also like to thank all the students who submitted videos to the competition. Your tremendous efforts, your interest in social justice issues and the action you took to raise awareness about human trafficking and slavery by creating a video is appreciated and commended.

The theme of the 2017 Youth Awards was Help End Human Trafficking and Slavery in Australia. Students were asked to develop a video campaign that explored human trafficking and slavery in either domestic, restaurant or agricultural work, and devise a plan of action that they or their community can take to help abolish this illegal practice.

2016

Are food vans and sleeping bags enough?

This was the question that hundreds of students set about responding to for the Mercy Foundation Youth Awards. The response was overwhelmingly the same. NO. People experiencing homelessness, particularly people sleeping rough, need much more than food vans and sleeping bags. They need a home.

Thank you to everyone who took the time and effort to enter the competition. The field was very competitive this year and the judges found it very difficult to decide on the winners. We received many high quality, creative and thought provoking entries. The judges chose three exceptional entries to be awarded first, second and third prizes. Highly Commended certificates were awarded to another seven outstanding entries.

 

First Prize: Jack and Matthew – Year 9, St Luke’s Grammar, Dee Why NSW
Prize: $700 will be shared amongst the team AND $700 will be awarded to the school*

Second Prize: Sophia, Julia, Rachel and Holly – Year 10, Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College North Sydney NSW
Prize: $350 will be shared amongst the team AND $350 will be awarded to the school*

Third Prize: Eve and Brieann – Year 10, Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College North Sydney NSW
Prize: $200 will be shared amongst the team AND $200 will be awarded to the school*

2015

Busting the myths about homelessness

Congratulations to the winners of the Mercy Foundation Social Justice Youth Awards!

The winners in the primary category were Anna and Jessica from year 6, Sacred Heart Catholic School Mosman.

The winners of the secondary category were Hayley, Hannah and Angela, year 8 students from Mercy Catholic College Chatswood.

The judges awarded an extraordinary second prize to Mt Lilydale Mercy College, to students from the CSYMA team for their impressive effort.

The aim of the competition is to encourage students to learn more about the issue of homelessness in Australia. We believe that we can work together as a community to solve homelessness in our country.

Thank you to all students who entered the competition. We received many entries of a high standard. Highly Commended certificates will be awarded to a number of students from schools across Australia in recognition of their efforts.