Central Council

Prof. Maureen Brunt AO Essay Prize


The Professor Maureen Brunt AO Essay Prize is an annual initiative of Consumer Policy Research Centre, which asks Honours, Masters and PhD students to explore a key current challenge for consumer policy development.

The prize honours Professor Brunt, whose work had a profound and lasting impact on consumer and competition law in Australia. She was the first female Chair of Economics in Australia and produced pioneering studies on the industrial organisation of the Australian economy, with her early research uncovering a high degree of concentrated market power and urgent need for the establishment of consumer law.

The prize is open to any full-time student enrolled in the fields of consumer and competition law, human rights, public policy, consumer behaviour, privacy, ethics, economics, engineering and data science.

The winner will receive a $7,500 cash prize, with $2,500 for the runner up. The top 10 essays will also be published on the CPRC website and distributed to the CPRC network of regulatory, industry, policy, community sector and academic experts. 

The topic for 2019/2020 is:

Paying for privacy: An exploration of the trade of personal information
and privacy in the digital age.
Human right? Property right? Input to production?


We invite the best and brightest students around Australia to explore this emerging and converging field of research and policy development.

Essays can either compare and contrast or be persuasive in nature - exploring the different approaches and schools of thought.


Length: 2500 to 3000 words
Submissions close: 29 February 2020
Announcement of the winner: April 2020


The competition is open to any full-time Honours, Masters or PhD student currently enrolled in an Australian tertiary institution in the fields of consumer and competition law, human rights, public policy, consumer behaviour, privacy, ethics, economics, engineering and data science. Evidence of enrolment must be submitted along with the essay. For the purposes of this competition, an ‘Australian tertiary institution’ is a Tertiary Education Institution whose Vice-Chancellor is a member of the Australian Vice-Chancellors’ Committee. The entrant must still be enrolled in the course when the winner is drawn in April 2020.

Essays must be typed and submitted in Word or PDF format to office@cprc.org.au by 5pm AEST on 31 February 2020. Late entries will not be considered.

Entries must include a cover page indicating: (1) full name; (2) institution and course the entrant is currently enrolled in, with proof of enrolment; (3) contact details; (4) essay title; (5) essay word count; (6) 150 to 250-word abstract; (7) stipulation of either ‘compare and contrast’ OR ‘persuasive’ essay approach. Entries missing any of this information will not be considered.

The document must not contain any information that identifies the student or their institution, with the exception of the cover page.

Essays must be written in English.

Only one entry per person is allowed.

Essays must be original and unpublished. Plagiarised entries will not be considered.

Essays must be written by one person. Co-authored essays will not be considered.

The essay must appropriately acknowledge all primary and secondary sources used. A biography should be included. Any referencing system may be used, so long as it is consistent throughout the essay. Entries with incorrect or inconsistent referencing will not be considered.

All essays will be reviewed by a panel without disclosing the identity and institution of the student authors.
If an entrant’s identity is inadvertently revealed and a panel member has an association with the entrant, the panel member will not participate in reviewing that entry.

The decision of the panel will be final.

All entrants agree to follow these guidelines as a condition of participation.
Please direct any questions to office@cprc.org.au.

Judging criteria

Understanding and explanation of why the topic is a significant issue impacting both policymakers and consumers alike.

Consideration of a broad range of arguments on the subject matter.

Drawing on international literature and schools of thought, consideration of the cultural dimensions that may influence differing approaches.

Credible evidence to support arguments made, referenced using Chicago documentary-note style.
Either: A persuasive and clearly articulated point of view on a preferred approach (for a persuasive essay), OR sufficient exploration of commonalities and divergence of different schools of thought (for compare and contrast essays).

Insightful, engaging and coherent writing style.

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