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network Postscript London welcomes essay commonwealth prizewinners The Commonwealth Essay Competition celebrated its 130th anniversary in 2013. The theme was ‘Opportunity through enterprise’ – the Commonwealth theme for 2013 – and, as ever, participants displayed ingenuity in their approaches to the topic. More than 2,000 Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards were presented, with the top four prizes going to New Zealand, Guernsey, Canada and Hong Kong. Chosen from more than 4,500 Senior entries, 19-year-old Katherine McIndoe from Wellington, New Zealand was named as the Senior Prize Winner for her submission ‘To boldly go: a letter to the lost girls’. Tabitha Carr, 11, from Guernsey won the Junior Prize for ‘Is change a good thing?’. The Essay Competition Awards evening was held in London at the end of 2013. As part of their prize, Katherine and Tabitha were invited to spend a week in London by the Royal Commonwealth Society. Katherine and Tabitha at the awards evening with Sir Lockwood Smith ‘Winning the competition has provided ‘I wanted to cry’ me with so many fantastic experiences’ I am proud to have won the junior section of the Commonwealth essay competition, especially Towards the end of 2012, unequal treatment of world to receive my award at the New Zealand as it is the first I have entered. women, and the habitual violence perpetrated High Commission in London was very special I live in Guernsey – a long way from my against women in so many countries, was all and, while in the UK, Tabitha and I had the invented characters in Botswana – where it over the news. This was largely due to two opportunity to visit iconic London landmarks might be hard to grow lemons, although we still shocking incidents: the shooting of Malala and meet some fantastic people working both grow tomatoes! Yousafzai and the gang rape of a young in writing (such as journalists at the London Winning this competition has been very student on a bus in New Delhi. Evening Standard) and in development (at the exciting. When I found out, I felt as if I could I had always been concerned by gender offices of Plan UK). do anything and nothing would stand in my inequality and I suddenly felt that these issues As 2013 is the 120th anniversar y of way again, as I am dyslexic and writing can were reaching boiling point and getting the women gaining universal suffrage in New be difficult. I wanted to give up, but I have had media attention that they deserved. My ‘Letter Zealand, I was invited to functions a t so much help at school and at the Guernsey to the lost girls’ was an attempt to express my parliament and Premier House celebra ting Dyslexia Day Centre. I hope dyslexic children frustration with a system that allows a girl like New Zealand women’s achievements. I everywhere will be encouraged to keep trying. me to be born here in New Zealand and never was also invited to parliament to celebra te I had a wonderful awards week in London – face any real obstacles, while a girl exactly the the Queen’s Commonwealth baton arriving from going to Buckingham Palace, seeing the same as me can be born on the same planet in New Zealand and wrote a messa ge on Queen in her car and Daleks in the state rooms and spend her life enslaved by the fact that behalf of New Zealand in the accompan ying to being interviewed at the BBC about selfies! she was born female. Baton Book. I wanted to cry when I saw homeless people It was such a huge honour to be named Winning the competition has provided me at the Tube station, as I had never seen this in the Senior Winner for 2013 – the competition with so many fantastic experiences and Guernsey and it seemed wrong. is so large and diverse that it was truly opened my eyes to new possibilities, and I I have seen so much outside my own small overwhelming to be singled out in this way. am very grateful for the opportunities that I island and it has revealed a bigger world that Since the announcement was made, I have have had. helps me see my place in the Commonwealth. had so many fantastic experiences and opportunities. Travelling to the other side of the Katherine McIndoe Tabitha Carr 78 l www.global -br ief ing.org second quar ter 2014 global


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