Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates from the Australian Government

Inaugural essay competition: winner announced


The Treasury is pleased to announce the University of Queensland’s economics and commerce student, Ms Elizabeth Baldwin, as the winner of its inaugural essay competition.

The national competition, organised by the Treasury Research Institute, encouraged university students to confront important economic policy issues by writing a 2,000-word essay.

This year’s topic was: ‘What do you believe will be most important for ensuring Australia’s future economic prosperity, and why?’

“The aim of the competition — and the Treasury Research Institute more broadly — is to foster new ideas on economic policy,” said Secretary to the Treasury, Mr John Fraser.

“We are delighted with the response.”

Ms Baldwin’s essay, titled ‘Firmly focused: Australia’s future productivity growth’, explored the mechanisms through which governments can influence the progress of technology diffusion and resource allocation by clearly articulating an overall cumulative process.

Students from 18 universities participated in the competition, from disciplines including economics, philosophy, business and public health.

The judging panel comprised John Fraser, Dr Angelia Grant (Principal Adviser, Macroeconomic Conditions Division) and Mr Hamish McDonald (Chief Adviser, Structural Reform Group).

The panel was impressed by the critical thinking displayed by entrants — a trait that is highly valued in the Treasury’s Graduate program, which sees graduates analyse complex issues and ultimately deliver robust policy advice.

“We’re always on the lookout for people who are passionate about the economic policy issues that matter to Australians and are keen to build a rewarding career,” said Dr Grant.

The Treasury is also pleased to announce four runners-up in the essay competition:

  • Dilan SriDaran — University of New South Wales
  • Edward Fowler — Australian National University
  • Jessica Dunphy — University of Queensland
  • Susannah Stearman — University of Queensland

In recognition of their achievement, the winner and runners-up visited the Treasury this week to meet Mr Fraser and participate in meetings on important policy issues.

More information

Additional detail on the competition, including the winning essay, can be found on the Treasury Research Institute website. There is also more information on the Treasury’s Graduate Program at