Edward Wong earmarked as the ‘next voice’ after Australian Foreign Affairs win

Monash’s Master of Journalism student Edward Wong shares his views with the School of Media, Film and Journalism about winning the Australian Foreign Affairs’ Next Voices competition.

What does it mean to win Next Voices?

I believe winning Next Voices has only inspired me to work harder to publish more articles on international trade policy and Australia's growing interconnectedness with our Indo-Pacific neighbours. Words shape perceptions which inevitably influences policy before morphing into societal values. Winning this competition makes me hopeful for the future that journalism and good research still matters in a world plagued by oligopolistic news corporations, populism, "fake news" and other threats to democracy. If ever there was a time for words to matter, that time would be now. I hope that my words in the Australian Foreign Affairs can help inspire the next generation of Australia policy makers, business leaders and members of civil society to strive towards shaping a pluralistic Australia.

How does it feel to win?

It was exciting enough to be announced as a finalist alongside PhD candidates, professors and other renowned authors of international relations; let alone winning Next Voices. I've always been a huge fan of international news and trade policy, so having your piece published on the Australian Foreign Affairs is truly an honour. I hope to use this as a platform to springboard myself into a career in foreign affairs either with the government or the private sector.

What did you do and what have you been doing to improve my writing?

You have to write bravely, stubbornly and efficiently. Even if it's as simple as writing a few articles and publishing them on your personal blog or website, any devotion to the craft is a start. I believe that you should always strive to write for as many publications as possible, seek feedback and build upon your errors. Reading and writing go hand in hand. So, read voraciously as well! It's frightening to live in an age where anyone with internet access, a keyboard and an opinion can publish freely. However, one must never stray away from writing and reading. If you fail, you only have yourself to blame. You're never really out of the game unless you quit. I started writing and publishing on my Medium account and slowly progressed to writing for Mojo News, MIRSA Journal and Esperanto Magazine. This then built my confidence and skills to write for other publications such as the Young Diplomat's Society and Australian Foreign Affairs.

How has Monash supported you during your studies?

My professors and academic staff have been absolutely wonderful in providing me with insightful feedback on my writing. They challenge me to go the extra mile and constantly support me towards achieving one "reasonably achievable" goal at a time. Julie Tullberg has also been phenomenally helpful on how she is able to translate students' skills from a simple CV into practical work experiences with media industry titans. I am really grateful for all the help and resources Monash University has given me and highly encourage everyone to seek feedback from the university's exemplary staff if you haven't already!