Just a few words can save many lives

What if your words had the power to save lives? This is what Peninsula Health and DonateLife Victoria asked local young writers for the inaugural Victorian Writing for Life micro fiction competition.

Dominique Mirabella, a year 11 Toorak College student, along with Maddie Hughes, year 10 McClelland College student, were awarded equal first prize winners of DonateLife’s Thank You Day (Sunday 22 November).

Students between years 7 – 12 were invited to think creatively and write a microstory, no more than 300 words, to encourage people to register as organ donors and discuss organ donation with their families.

Dominique’s 239 word winning entry compared the well-known Wizard of Oz story with organ and tissue donation; explaining that although the Wizard was just an ordinary man in the end, he was still able to give the Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow an “extraordinary gift to help their plight”.

“We can all be extraordinary wizards simply by using the kind thoughts of the scarecrow, the compassion of the tin man and the bravery of the lion to make the decision to enroll as organ donors,” Dominique wrote.

Maddie’s entry highlighted the fact that there is a shortage of organ donors compared to those in need waiting on a transplant list. 

Peninsula Health’s Nurse Donation Specialist, Katherine Goode, was on the panel of judges.

“It was a very difficult choice; we had a great uptake from local schools with 50 entries in total and there were many beautiful, inspiring and touching stories. “In the end we had to award first prize to two students instead of one because they were both so well-written.” 

Ms Goode said the prize winners will receive a Writer’s Masterclass with bestselling Australian author and journalist, Michelle Hamer.

The prize-winning entries are listed below.

Joint first prize winners:

Runners up:

Honourable mentions:

Joint first prize winner, Doninique Mirabella (centre), is awarded her certificate by Frankston Nurse Donation Specialist, Kate Goode (left) and author and journalist, Michelle Hamer (right).

Katie Goode, Frankston Nurse Donation Specialist; Dominque Mirrabella, Toorak College student; and Michelle Hamer, author and journalist.

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