Australia’s Most Prestigious Competition Now Offers the Prize of a Lifetime

All Current Sitting High Court Justices Confirmed to Attend Prestigious Governor-General’s Prize Ceremony

Now open to all undergraduate students studying at Australian universities, the Governor-General’s Prize is now offering the prize of a lifetime in its 10 year history with all High Court Justices confirmed to attend the prestigious prize ceremony later this year.

With free entry and run by the Constitutional Education Fund Australia (CEFA), the Governor-General’s Prize is its 10th year and is an incredible opportunity for students nationwide to have their 2,500 word essay read by High Court Justices and be recognised for their academic skill, talent and research abilities.

With an increased prize pool of $15,000 for the winning essays and a prestigious event at the High Court in Canberra, 1 December with the seven7 current High Court Justices in attendance, this year the Governor-General’s Prize is supported by Reconciliation Australia (trading as Recognise). 2014 gives undergraduates the opportunity to choose from six questions relating to constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians.

The 2014 judging panel for the Prize is chaired by the Hon. Justice Susan Kiefel AC. The other illustrious judges include University of Queensland’s ARC Future Fellow, Professor Nicholas Aroney. All finalists will be interviewed by the judging panel before winners are selected.

“This is an exciting announcement and really exemplifies how much the Governor General’s Prize has grown over the last 10 years to the point where it is now one of the most important competitions for any undergraduate wanting to get involved in political, legal or constitutional debates,” said Director of the Governor-General’s Prize.

Inaugural winner in 2004 Ben Davies has since graduated from Monash University and spent several years working as a solicitor and then as Chief of Staff to the Attorney-General of Victoria. He is now the Chief of Staff to a senior Minister in the Commonwealth Government.

“As a student, my greatest academic interest was Australia’s system of Government. I have always had enormous respect for the centuries of constitutional history that has shaped Australia’s constitution and the way we are governed today. The opportunity to share my thoughts with three of Australia’s foremost authorities in the field was a true highlight of my university studies and added a grace note that I have greatly valued. I would strongly encourage undergraduates who are looking to make their mark in public life to compete for the Governor-General’s Prize” said Ben Davies.

Past winners have demonstrated cutting edge application of their studies. For example, the 2010 Governor-General’s Prize was awarded to Naomi Hart for an essay that weighed up the policy considerations involved in balancing Australia’s obligations to protect the human rights of asylum seekers. She reviewed the position the Australian Government had taken with the proposed Malaysian solution and her essay predicted the approach the High Court would subsequently take when that policy was challenged.

The Governor-General's Prize is open to Australian citizens and permanent residents who are enrolled in an undergraduate degree at an Australian university. Each year, a series of questions are provided across topics related to law, politics, history, and social justice, for consideration, research, and response by students who wish to enter the competition.

Entries are open at and close June 30 2014 at 5pm Australian Eastern Standard Time.

For further information on the Governor-General’s Prize: or email