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What role should Australia play in future world affairs?

gracean 1 / 3  
Mar 13, 2011   #1
Hi guys. I got an extension from S.C.C.E. so my essay is not due 'til Tuesday.

Here it is. I know it's hundreds of words over the limit, but I want to ask you guys which parts you think I could remove, and which are weaker points than others. Of course, any constructive criticism for the actualy content of the essay would be extremely welcome also! Thanks guys! (Edited to change 'assignment' to 'essay'. Oops. *sheepish grin*)

Southern Cross Cultural Exchange Program Scholarship Essay - Anna Timms

What role should Australia play in future World Affairs?

Australia - the great southern land - is a very unique country geographically and culturally. Geographically, it can claim to be the only permanently inhabited country in the world that has a whole continent to itself, with a very low population density per square kilometre. Historically, they are not so much the 'babies' - think Serbia, The Ukraine, Czech Republic, Slovakia (all federated in the last 30 years) - but the 'teenagers' of the world. Of course, there are the 'grownups', each several hundreds of years old - England, Switzerland, France, China, Japan - who have of course, in the course of time, had a bloody history with many wars, assassinations, and the like of it under their belt. Australia has had a relatively 'clean' history, with the only dark blotches being the wars they've participated in and the dreadful regime of misunderstandings that brought about the Stolen Generation. In all truthfulness, you could see World Affairs as a powerful show of family dynamics - there are fights, there is love and brotherhood, but there is not very often peace, unfortunately. In the last 5000 years of world history, only 200 have been relatively peaceful.

Australia is considered a lovely country by people in other parts of the world, and most citizens' love living there. It is economically, politically, religiously, racially, and culturally well-off, and is a country well-developed and under control. Therefore, it can be said that the leaders are leading them well, and in the case of World Affairs, they are playing our parting in helping out parts of the world, especially those that have been recently devastated - Christchurch and Japan in the last two months - and on top of that, they have been handling several natural disasters in the last 4 months, like the Queensland Floods, the West Australian Bushfires, and Cyclone Yasi - which I've had the misfortune to experience myself (I live in Tully). These recent natural disasters have most definitely given Australia a sense of empathy for other countries. If one country is struggling, it's their favour to help them, because they know one day the other country could be helping them out of a mess - all for one and one for all, right?

In World Affairs, Australia's current standing is quite good. It helps out any countries in need and donates millions to other countries every year - Australia had donated $87 million (US dollars) from 2004-06 (Wikipedia - Australia and the United Nations). It also plays its parts in wars, for the cause of countries with similar beliefs and ideologies, but it does not wage war itself and is quite peaceful. Australia also participates in the United Nations, and has since 1945 - it was a founding member in the development of United Nations after World War II - by contributing to peace-keeping operations and conflict resolution in several struggling or politically turbulent countries, although it does not currently have a representative elected. Another great thing Australia does is give homes to many refugees, without racial segregation or discrimination - it is a very multicultural country.

Australia could further its participation in World Affairs by campaigning to its citizens to vote for an Australian representative to have a place in the 2013/14 United Nations Security Council. The United Nations Security Council strives to improve social, economic and environmental conditions worldwide. Australia last served on the Security Council 25 years ago, and since that time it has improved its peace-keeping skills and overseas assistance techniques. It has also furthered its knowledge of good pacifist tactics, as well as encouraged friendly ties between nations as much as possible. I quote, from Wikipedia - Australia and the United Nations, 'The UN is seen by the Australian Government as a means to influence events which directly affect Australia's interests but over which they have little unilateral control.'

I mentioned earlier that Australia is a very multicultural country. This point is solidified by the presence of people of many, many different cultures at my own high school. My best friend immigrated to Australia in April 2009 from Zürich, Switzerland - I helped teach her English. In 2006 at my primary school, a boy moved here from India, and I also helped teach him English. Getting to know people of so many different cultures and countries at my school (New Zealander, Indian, Swiss, Filipino, English, France, German and South African to name even a few) have definitely given me a strong taste of the different cultures across the world - and I go to an average high school, like any other across the country! Furthermore, my own family immigrated to Australia from Russia in the 1920s, and traditional Russian customs are part of my everyday life - for example, at Christmas-time, we open all the gifts on Christmas Eve as my Grandfather (who is half-Russian) remembers as a tradition from his childhood. Multiculturalism is like a glimmering facet in the gem of Australia's beautifully broad spectrum of positive assets to the current generations' lifestyles and education.

Australia also happily tolerates several religions and spiritualities -Christianity being the main one, as well as several different religions like Sikhism, Muslim, Judaism, Jehovah's Witness, and Buddhism - and that is to name only a little of the whole population of beliefs. My stepmother is an Indonesian-Muslim and my father actually was married in a traditional Islamic ceremony to her.

Another strong stance Australia could take in World Affairs would be willingness to take preventative steps in reaction to shocking happenings across the world - deforestation, global warming, ozone layer eradication, extinction and culling of species, and pollution. But truly, to influence and change the people around you, you must change yourself first, and Australia should be pro-active and enforce tougher laws and restrictions on all the harmful activities - littering, air pollution, waterway pollution, forest-clearing, overfishing and overhunting, and many other terrible activities - we partake in, causing damage to the beautiful environment and once-thriving (now slowly diminishing) eco-system.

Australia could also improve their standing in the world by making a difference in many important social issues, mostly occurring in third world countries. These issues are human trafficking, poverty, AIDs, racism, food shortages, illiteracy, lack of education, communism, misogyny, female genital mutilation, homophobia, religious and cultural bigotry, and ever-present sexist attitudes towards women. Australia could change this by developing strategies to combat these problems. For example, they could build schools in third world countries to increase the literacy and education rate.

Of course, the World Wars in the early 20th Century shaped modern warfare, politics, and socio-economic issues as we know it. The world is rapidly changing in means of technology, and humans have terrifying powerful devices at their fingertips - mainly nuclear weapons. The main controllers/investors in these items are the United States of America, who are leading the way in both potency and quantity, Israel, North Korea, China, the Russian Federation (America and Russia actually fought the Cold War in a fight for nuclear dominance), France, the United Kingdom, India, and Pakistan (sourced from Wikipedia - List of States with Nuclear Weapons). Of these countries (the group is sometimes called The Nuclear Club); five are part of the Nuclear-Weapon States: U.S.A., Russia, France, China and the United Kingdom. These countries have all signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Thankfully, Australia does not possess or manufacture any nuclear weapons. They pose a great risk to civilization and the environment, with any mishaps causing devastating disasters if not handled properly - like the current meltdown in Japan causing from a broken reactor. Less than 70 years ago, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were hit with the devastating effects of the first nuclear weapons in history. This caused hundreds upon thousands of deaths and casualties, with the victims earning their own title: hibakushi. Australia thankfully does not participate in nuclear warfare or power-supplying, and if they did they would be possibly risking the lives of every citizen on the continent.

Of course, it is also true that Australia can be seen as being too active in World Affairs. With several recent natural disasters, it can surely be said that the money it's donating to other countries could be better used for rebuilding damaged infrastructure and lowering taxes. The raising tax rate in Australia is definitely not something good for its citizens, who are already struggling with many high costs if they have been affected even slightly by natural disasters. There is such thing as being generous, but are they too generous for their own good?

Another problem with Australia's participation in World Affairs is the risk of war imposed upon Australia. Say that there was major conflict between North and South Korea, and Australia decided to support South Korea because it is against the way North Koreans are oppressed, Australia would be at risk of warfare from North Korea and its allies, including the world's most populous country, China. That would be an extremely significant threat to all of its citizens.

Therefore, having pointed out both positives and negatives of the topic, it is my opinion that Australia should participate heavily in World Affairs, but not in such a carefree way that it affects Australian citizens negatively. This could be done by donating to other nations and organizations less, therefore lowering the tax rate for Australians. But it is also important to donate to important causes; social, environmental and ones to the benefit of world peace. It could also be done by putting less influence on politics and having more an attitude to help out than swing the situation in a way that could cause trouble - basically, help out with disasters but to remain neutral when it comes to war; the priority should be peace. And one of the most important ideologies to me is to make sure Australia remains a multicultural, non-segregated, non-persecuted, unified nation, which takes no part in nuclear activities. Australia should be a safe haven in a world of tension and turmoil, and hopefully the rest of the world will follow its example.

©Anna Louise Timms

nmartin500 1 / 1  
Mar 15, 2011   #2
Very well written. The only problem I seen was in the first sentence. Approximately one hundred and ninety five nations coexist with together,
You are a much better writter than myself and I dont really feel qualified to judge but I hope it helps in some small way. I enjoyed reading this. Thank you.
OP gracean 1 / 3  
Mar 15, 2011   #3
Thanks :) I didn't notice the mistake on the first sentence till you pointed it out
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Mar 20, 2011   #4
Use a hyphen:
Approximately one hundred and ninety-five nations coexist together, sometimes ...

Use a colon:
in divergence, sometimes in harmony, as a part of one, extraordinary planet: Earth. ---Nicely written, but this is a truism. It is not a very controversial observation. However, actually, it does express something meaningful. I was going to criticize, but I changed my mind. This is a nice intro!

... is known as "world affairs", which undoubtedly beholds behold the power to ...----I changed it so that it would be grammatically correct, but actually behold means to look at something, so it is not the best verb here.

For Australia to play an important role in human, it must first smooth out the badly rumpled sheets of equality that exist within the nation today.----Wow, this is one hell of a sentence. I think you are a great writer...

Okay, very good, but read the essay again, ask yourself what the MAIN MESSAGE is for the reader to remember, and sum that message up in a sentence at the end of the first paragraph. You are still very broad and vague in the introduction. Tighten up your expression of the theme in that intro. :-)
sweet_like_suga - / 2  
Mar 22, 2011   #5
What is this being written for???? I read through it and I don't see a paragraph to do with the essay topic and the other topics you chose to do.
cynicallaura - / 5  
Mar 22, 2011   #6
Haha,you guys aren't the only ones going for that scholarship!

I was reading through both of your essays after completing my own and was torn as to whether or not to actually give advice to my competitors. Even as I write this I'm still slightly undecided.

What I did want to say though was, while I thought both essays were good they had a flaw consistent to both: You don't link to the topic very well.

Also callumvan, for the sake of all that is holy, please rewrite that essay in the third person. A good essay should never refer to "we" and "our" it should always be "Australia's" and "their".

Goodluck, and may the best essay win ;p
Callumvan - / 3  
Mar 23, 2011   #7
Thanks very much for the feedback, since posting that i have almost overhauled that, and relinked it to the topic. That was an unfinished essay, have now finished.

Thanks for the luck, and the same to you. Unfortunately you'll only be receiving the half scholarship, as the full one is mine ;)
Just out of interest, where do you plan on going?
cynicallaura - / 5  
Mar 23, 2011   #8
Good to hear my advice was helpful, even if that did mean fraternizing with the enemy! No, I joke. I have also finished my essay now and sent it off.

I have a slight obsession with France and particularily it's rich history--you would be scared how much I can tell you about Marie Antoinette, Napoleon and the revolution-- and culture as well as a massive desire to become fluent in the language. So I will definitely be heading to France with my FULL scholarship ;p I know this partially bacuase I'm totally gonna kick your ass and partially because if I get a half scholarship I won't be able to go.

What about you? Where do you want to go and why? I'm also currently wondering when we'll actually find out the results as no definite dates are given and all you can really assume is that it will be before September. Any clues?
Callumvan - / 3  
Mar 24, 2011   #9
I don't think I'll ask about France.. :P

Yeah, I also sent mine off this afternoon, express post. Hopefully it gets there!!

I'm heading to Germany, have been learning it for 4 years, and have German heritage, so I am extremely excited for September! I would love to work for a German sporting team in the future, hopefully doing sports psychology with Bayern-Munchen, so this would set me up perfectly!

I'm the same, it's very unlikely I'll be able to go if i miss out on the Full Scholarship, as with the half you would still need to pay around $4500!

Actually the dates are given on the flyer, announcement is made on April 15th, quite soon i reckon! They'll have their work cut out for them finishing by then :P

Alright, well I'm gonna be a graceful winner, so when i get the scholarship I'll try not to rub it in your face too much ;)
sweet_like_suga - / 2  
Mar 25, 2011   #10
Hahahaha you both make me laugh. Cause a matter of fact your not the only ones in the competition and the scholarship is mine :p I only gave the advice to be a good sport nahh jokes I'm not that cruel. Well best of luck to both of you and if you do get scholarships be sure to post it and let us know.
cynicallaura - / 5  
Mar 25, 2011   #11
Ha! Graceful winner? I think you should be practicing to be a graceful loser! And I'm sorry to say that I'm probably not going to be that graceful when I win, a reasonable amount of gloating will probably happen.

Good idea not to ask about France as I don't think I could be bothered typing up everything I know. The funny thing is that logically I should probably have applied to go to Germany instead as I learn German at school. Admittedly, it is against my will, I applied for French and got rejected, but still. I just don't really have an interest in it. If The Netherlands had been on the list I may have applied for that as I'm dutch, though the only words I can say in dutch are quite offensive ;p

Wow, that's some ambition, I'm guessing your one of those annoying people who are both smart and sporty. Grrr... I can't do sport, I fall too much. Or walk/run into team mates, which they don't appreciate. It doesn't matter however as I'm interested in studying law at the Sorbonne in France so this exchange would set me up for that.

I kind of doubt they'll actually be able to read all those essays by the announcement date and if they do I'll be both really impressed and a little suspicious. Impressed that they at least looked them over but very suspicious that they probably didn't read them and judge them properly.

If I, by some horrible mistake I only get one of the half scholarships instead of the full one I fully deserve, I hope I have enough time between working through the horrible piles of homework MacRob likes to give us to earn the money. *sigh* I hate my job but France would be worth it.

Ack. Now that you told me the date (and since I've had a lot of coffee today) I'm all jittery and anxious as it's not that far away!
Callumvan - / 3  
Mar 29, 2011   #12
Oh well, who ever wins will deserve the right to gloat as much as they want!
You sound like you know what you want then, good on you! I'm still so confused about so much, no idea what i want to be, or do. Kinda frustrating. Oh well, hopefully MY german trip will fix all that ;)

I'd go with the sporty rather than the smart, but I get by pretty well. I play a ridiculous amount of sport though. Helps me sleep well at night, as i literally don't have the energy to lift a finger :P

Wow, law, how ambitious! Good luck, i really hope you do well in this. And if by some twist of fate i don't win, i hope you do, as it sounds like it would mean the world to you, and that you would make the most of every opportunity you get.

I know, it's so close! Just over 2 weeks :O They should get it done, i'd say no more than 2,000 essays would come in, and they'd have a fair few judges. Plus quite a few would be not considered due to their marks, or what their teachers said.. Lucky my marks were all As/A+s :D

I'm starting to get nervous though, despite my perceived confidence. Ah well, I know that if i don't get it, which does seem likely against 1999 other students, I'll have other opportunities :) Doesn't stop me hoping though!
cynicallaura - / 5  
Mar 29, 2011   #13
Haha! I love the idea that I come across as someone who knows exactly what I want. I really have no idea! Well I guess that's not totally true. I know what my perfect career would entail; if I could be anything I would be a writer as I love to read and write and am even almost finished writing my own novel. Law is more of a backup. It's been changed so many times. Neurosurgeon. Vet. Lawyer. etc. Ugh. It's so ridiculous that such important decisions have to be made while we're so young! Law is my current thing though as it's humanities based as they're my strong points, seems interesting, involves debating as I'm awesome at arguing (if I do say so myself) and I started VCE Biology this year and hate it so anything medical has been shoved off the table.

You have to at least have some idea of what you'd like to do? A field of work you'd like to go into?

Of course in my family there's never been much of a range of choices. My parents don't believe in arts degrees, to quote "they are for the people who don't know what they want to do and just want to say they've had a university education". Which is ironic as neither of my parents even finished high school let alone got to university. Ugh, hypocrites annoy me.

Haha, I'm kind of jealous that your good at sport, as I said last time I have no ability at it. Too much co-ordination is necessary! I am definitely more academic, otherwise I'd have nothing! And as for the idea of sleep? I never get to the stage of not being able to lift a finger due to my "slight" addiction to coffee! I'm definitely more of a night owl anyway. I do my best work at night, stay up ridiculously late and then have to wake up at five to get to school on time. That explains the caffeine addiction at least. It's completely necessary.

I wish the same thing for you! It sounds like that even though you don't know specifically what you want you at least know that you want to see the world. I can definitely relate. If I don't do anything of note in my entire life I'd like to at least be able to say I've seen the world and not just the tiny corner of it that is Australia. And not just seen it but lived it. Even if I don't get this scholarship I want to at some point live in France.

The sad thing about you saying law is ambitious is that, while I agree, at my school which is highly academic unless you want to do something medical your seen as virtually a failure.

Thats sounds like quite an accurate guess for the process they'll go through. What shocks me though is that there has been no mention of an interview. I would've thought they'd shortlist based on applications and then interview, though I guess this could be interstate and a bit impractical.

I'm getting nervous too! It's such a big oppurtunity. One that could both change your life and help develop who you are as a person. And even though I also know that I probably don't even have a shot, I hope as well. Because really, hope is what people live on. Unless you're me, then it's coffee :D
cynicallaura - / 5  
Apr 2, 2011   #14
It's awesome that you've had an extension and good luck, though of course you have no chance next to me ;p Just kidding!

So I skimmed your essay as I'm in a rush and as you said it does seem to be a bit long so I have a few suggestions.

While the anecdote/example of you and your best friend are nice for an essay of this type they're a bit informal. You should never speak in first person, you should always be the unseen author we know is writing the essay but isn't identified.

I also think that in an essay of this sort, if you still need to cut some stuff you should choose three main arguments/examples then go into massive depth about them instead of only skimming the surface of heaps of issues.

Also, don't forget you don't have to go right to the word limit, it's there as a guide.

I hope this helps a little :) and good luck!
Alien - / 1  
Apr 2, 2011   #15
Thanks Laura :) yeah it is awesome I've got an extension, I've only had a couple weeks of school this year because of the stupid cyclone! Dx

Ok, so cut out all first person parts, and does it seem like a good idea to have 3 main arguments, and then also a counter-argument?

And yeah, I definitely need to cull the amount of words!

It helps heaps Laura, much appreciated! Good luck to you too!

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