Griffith Policy Competition saw seven Griffith students pitch policies they’re passionate about to judges including sitting State MPs, senior public servants and their lecturers.
Natasha Cumming’s dynamic presentation about housing affordability and availability in Queensland and Kate Maccarone’s timely pitch for change to domestic violence policing were named joint winners of the Griffith Policy Competition at Queensland Parliament House on Monday night.
“The experience was incredible,” Ms Cumming said. “It’s a really nice pat on the back to say, hey, you’re doing a good job.”
Awarded by judges including Member for Bonney Sam O’Connor from the Liberal National Party and Member for Logan and Griffith alumnus Linus Power from the Australian Labor Party, among others, Natasha and Kate faced stiff competition from fellow policy students.
“Griffith’s students are on the cutting edge of ideas that Queensland is grappling with,” Mr Power said.
“Some of the very policies that they talked about are things that we’re debating amongst ourselves right now and as a result, the deliberation process was a bit tricky,” he added.
“There were great proposals and ideas.”
The judges acknowledged Johanne Viavattene and Adrian van Staaden as runners up for their joint presentation on the need for mandatory legal advice for consumers entering retirement village sales contracts.
From eliminating deaths in custody to decriminalising illicit drug use, Demila Gabriel, Marta Fergusson and Ro Chadwick rounded out the students pitching policies on the night.
Mr O’Connor and Mr Power were joined by Department of Transport and Main Road executive Kate Carlson and School of Government and International Relations academics, Professor Ciaran O’Faircheallaigh, Dr Ellie Martus and Dr Cosmo Howard on the judging panel.
Dr Ferran Martinez i Coma, School of Government and International Relations director of engagement, and students Meg Fitzgerald, Sophie Nakamura and Jared Noble organised the event, which is the only competition of its kind in Australia.
The Griffith Policy Competition is open to all policy students at the University, with the seven students invited to pitch to the sitting MPs, senior public servants and lecturers selected from more than 70 competition entrants.
Prior to the night, the students selected to pitch their policies received coaching and presentation advice from Dr Carla Riverola from Griffith Business School Dr Martinez i Coma.