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2017 Essay Competition

The Treasury Research Institute Essay Competition is a national essay contest for Australian university students that aims to promote engagement with important economic policy issues.

‘It’s a pleasure to be able to announce the winners of the inaugural Treasury Research Institute essay competition in 2017. We had a terrific response with almost fifty entries from students at universities right across Australia.

The aim of the competition – and the Treasury Research Institute more broadly – has been to encourage deeper thinking and new ideas on economic policy and it is fantastic that you have been a part of that.’ John Fraser, Secretary

About the essay competition 

Entries for the 2017 competition opened Wednesday 29 March 2017 and closed Friday 14 July 2017.

Entrants were asked to write an essay of no more than 2,000 words (including references) that address the following:

What do you believe will be most important for ensuring Australia’s future economic prosperity, and why?

Entries covered a range of themes and were received from 18 universities across Australia.

Judging panel

A panel determined the winning entry and commendable entries in August 2017. The panel consisted of:

  • Panel Chair, John Fraser, Secretary to the Treasury
  • Hamish McDonald, Chief Adviser Structural Reform Group
  • Angelia Grant, Principal Adviser Macroeconomic Conditions Division

2017 winner

Elizabeth Baldwin, University of Queensland 

  • Winning essay – Firmly Focussed: Australia’s Future Productivity Growth [PDF 137KB]

The winner receives a prize of $2,500 and a visit to Treasury to meet with the Secretary as well as senior officials.

Commendable entries

Dilan SriDaran, University of New South Wales

  • Essay – Improving service sector productivity – key to future economic prosperity [PDF 86KB]

Edward Fowler, Australian National University

  • Essay – Productivity growth: is it worth having? [PDF 240KB]

Jessica Dunphy, University of Queensland

Susannah Stearman, University of Queensland

  • Essay – Household investment in small businesses: securing our future through innovation, efficiency and sustainability [PDF 153KB]

The four commendable winners receive a prize of $1,000 each and a visit to Treasury to meet with the Secretary as well as senior officials.

The views expressed in the essays are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Treasury or the Australian Government.