Inspiring life lessons: Media Bootcamp national writing competition winner Australia

Inspiring life lessons: Media Bootcamp national writing competition winner Australia

Rounding off our winners, here’s another from VIC: We recently hosted an Australia-wide search for writing talent and received an extraordinary response. Students submitted entries based around a theme, “inspire”, and this week we’re showcasing the final six winners (in no particular order).

Show your support for their efforts by leaving a comment below and sharing their amazing entries on your social media profiles for a few well-deserved likes. 

Media Bootcamp national writing competition Australia – Danni Tzivakis, VIC

I wake up as light starts to pour through the window. My shoulders are sore from being hunched up from the cold and my back aches from lying on my thin, air-depleted mattress that rests on hard concrete. I have been showering in a river and using a squat toilet.

And I have never been happier in my life.

I sigh with absolute joy. I walk outside, and let my eyes feast on the spectacular view of the green mountains looming above. Surrounding me are bamboo huts and children running through the field kicking a deflated soccer ball, laughing merrily. In the distance, the construction site anticipates its completion so that more dedicated children can be educated.

I stare through the open window of a classroom – I have taught a class of forty grade three students in there. I smile at the memory of yesterday and how I had them all standing up exuberantly singing ‘Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes’. When they sang it all by themselves my heart jumped with delight; I felt like a proud mother as I watched.

But my favourite part of the day is playing with the kids.

Yesterday Say and I were racing up an uneven dirt hill; I lost my footing and fell over. He had already scrambled up to the top, but turned, holding out his hand to help me up. Then he scuttled all the way up a tree, and came back down with a bunch of lovely yellow flowers that he proudly presented to me. We held hands and skipped through the village then I grabbed his hands and spun him around until we both got dizzy. He is the sweetest eleven year old I’ve ever met.

What I’ve learnt here is that happiness comes from the simple things; not a fancy car, a luxurious house or a well-paying job. Putting a grin on a child’s face or seeing them light up with laughter – that is what makes me truly happy. I wake up every day to picturesque mountains instead of a dull suburban street full of dull houses and greedy, complaining people. I would much rather be here and forego the unnecessary luxuries of beds, hot showers and televisions. Obviously people are happier without them anyway.

Here it is so easy to be happy; back home I usually only feel happy when I get an A+ on an exam, but here I walk outside, hi-five a kid and my heart flutters with happiness.

The people here do not live to make money, they are not consumed by greed; they purely live for joy and for community.

First world countries have a lot to learn from the third world.

I am making a difference and it feels good.

I feel inspired; I am inspired by these kids and their joy, by this village and its simplicity. Being here has sparked something in me that this is what I want to do, and here is where I want to be.

Danni, congratulations on being one of our six 2014 national winners. We were inspired by your entry – it certainly belongs right here on a space about travelling, living and learning. We hope you’ll endeavour with all three of those elements in your life.


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This competition was brought to you by Sugoi MediaMedia BootcampGet it Magazine, Get it Media,, Hot Tamale Media Australia Pty Ltd