What Matters? Writing Competition 2014 Year 11-12 Winner - Belinda Parry

An Average Legacy

Belinda Parry with Minister Rockliff
I never really considered that I could leave a legacy and yet as I grow older I realise the value of doing just that. What could I possibly leave behind; my opinion on issues like equal rights, how to make a better world, or perhaps something as simple as which cheese is the tastiest. Is my opinion worth anything? My opinion isn’t any more important than anyone else’s, is it? I’m average and as a relatively average citizen can I leave a legacy, of which I would be proud, for future generations.

How does an average person leave behind a legacy, something that matters for those who will follow in our footsteps? I come from a small town and I have no natural talents that define me. I’m reserved so I don’t often speak up and I have what is considered to be average intelligence. My looks are average, the environment I live in is mediocre and the things I do in my spare time are ordinary. So what makes me different from everyone else and are the things that matter to me important to others?

I am prepared, and indeed desire, to make a change in the world and I hope that despite my averageness that is what will make a difference.

My average upbringing is perhaps what will provide me with the impetus to achieve my dreams. I come from a struggling small town where most residents would be considered low socioeconomic status. Because of this I have learnt not to judge people by their circumstances. I understand issues such as why people smoke, and how I can support people who struggle with money, health and indifference. Being devoid of natural talents and not being able to afford private tuition has made me earn the abilities I have. I have worked doggedly to gain skills and move myself forward and I think determination is something that matters. I’ve learnt first-hand that persistence and hard work pays off. Shyness has made me observant and given me greater insight and understanding of others.

The intelligence and academic skills I have worked so hard to hone, I share to assist and improve the education of others. My looks are fair to middling, but looks honestly don’t matter. When telling others this, because the words are coming from an average looking person, they believe me. The environment I live in many would consider undistinguished. The carpet is worn, the lounge suite cocoons your body as you sink so far into it, the place is furnished with second hand and year worn furniture, but it’s calm and easy going and I am loved. The humdrum things I do in my spare time; homework, hanging out with friends and reading or playing the guitar – the average instrument – bring me joy and contentment. It may be ordinary but there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing.

So yes, I am your average person, but I use my average qualities positively for a better world. I’m determined to reach whatever goals I make no matter what obstacles I may face because of my averageness. It is not brilliance or talent or academic ability that matters but rather determination to give your best in every situation. I can and will make a change in the world and that is what matters.

So here is my legacy. Average people can do extraordinary things.

By Belinda Parry
Hellyer College
Year 11/12 Category

What Matters? Writing Competition

Congratulations to all participants of this year’s ‘What Matters?’ Writing Competition!  Prizes were awarded to students by Minister Rockliff, with each category winner now invited to participate in a Young Writers Forum and attend a ceremony in Sydney later in the year, where an overall winner will be announced.  Students were asked to write an opinion piece about an issue or matter of significance in society today, and award winners have demonstrated great talent, energy and enthusiasm for creative writing.

Award Recipients: 
Year 5/6
Madison Gorenc (winner)
Tristan Meffre (runner up)
Princes Street Primary
Princes Street Primary
Year 7/8
Luke Muir (winner)
Lucinda Lagos (runner up)
Reece High School
Kingston High School
Year 9/10
Chelsea Burt (winner)
Caleb Clifford (runner up)
Cressy District High
Cressy District High
Year 11/12
Belinda Parry (winner)
Jack Pelikan (runner up)
Hellyer College
Hellyer College

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