Congratulations to Dora in Year 12 on winning the 2023 Australian Economics Olympiad.
The Australian Economics Olympiad (AEO) is a competition that focusses on the contemporary economics issues. Dora participated in a number of online education seminars as well as two examinations and a group case study which reviewed the impact of migration policy on Australia as a whole through an economic lens.
Dora will now travel to Sydney to compete in the Australasian Economics Competition against competitors from New Zealand and Singapore. While in Sydney, she will also have the opportunity to meet Board members of the Reserve Bank of Australia.
‘Dora has been a wonderful member of the Economics class over a number of years, including being an inaugural member of the IPEC (International Politics and Economics Club). Her success in the AEO is a testament to her dedication, interest and problem solving capabilities in a variety of Economic issues, both in and out of the classroom. On behalf of the Commerce Faculty, we would like to congratulate Dora on such an outstanding achievement and just as importantly for her engagement in all we undertake as a team.’
– Chris Williams, Commerce Learning Leader
In the interview below, Dora shares more about her achievement and her passion for economics.
Congratulations on winning the Australian Economics Olympiad, Dora! Can you share with us what interests you about economics and what motivated you to enter the Australian Economics Olympiad?
Thank you! There are a lot of aspects about economics which interest me, but what I like the most about it is its applicability to the world we live in. Economics is always around us – we not only make financial decisions every day, but our society is also influenced by both the market mechanism and government economic policies. It is amazing to hear on the news discussions about, for example, interest rate or exchange rate changes, and find the theoretical concepts which we learn in class being echoed in the real world. And I think this interest in economics is what motivated me to enter the Economics Olympiad. The competition provides a fun challenge and a wonderful opportunity to work with like-minded students from across Australia. So I thought to myself, why not enter?
How did it feel to be named the winner of the Australian Economics Olympiad? Can you describe the feeling when you found out you had won?
It felt kind of surreal at first – I didn’t expect to win. After the initial shock subsided, I was overwhelmed with excitement at being able to partake in the Australasian Economics Olympiad and visit the Reserve Bank. I am very grateful for Fintona’s economics teachers, Mr Williams and Ms Grinham, for providing me with this opportunity, nurturing my interest in economics, and equipping me with the knowledge and skills to do my best. I am proud of my team for pulling off our case study presentation together, and I look forward to travelling to Sydney for the next rounds of the competition.
Is there an area of economics which fascinates you the most, and why?
There are so many areas of economics that are equally important and fascinating, so it is rather hard to choose one! Personally I have always been interested in behavioural economics, and how consumers and businesses make decisions in ways that differ from traditional economics assumptions. I think it combines my interests in economics and psychology, and has many implications for marketing and policy-making, such as how incentives could be used to encourage rational decisions with positive externalities. I am also interested in macroeconomics and how different policies impact our economic landscape, and there are many more areas of economics which I hope to study in the future, such as game theory and econometrics.
Have you been inspired to pursue any specific career path or academic direction as a result of your success in the Economics Olympiad?
I intended to pursue a Bachelor of Commerce and a career related to economics before participating in the Olympiad, so the results haven’t really changed my mind. In fact, the experience of partaking in the Olympiad did make me more certain about my future aspirations. From listening to the seminars conducted by practising economists, to working on a real-life policy case study, the Olympiad allowed me to gain more insights about the day-to-day work of an economist. Whilst I am a long way away from deciding my career, I think becoming an economist in the future is something I can imagine myself doing and enjoying!
In your opinion, how can young economists like yourself contribute to shaping a better future through their understanding of economics?
I think there are many ways young economists can help improve Australia’s future and achieve our macroeconomic goals. The most direct route that comes to mind would be to become an economist in the future, and in doing so, help guide budgetary and monetary policy-making. However, I think there are indirect ways as well – we are all economic agents, and we can use our ‘dollar votes’, as well as our actual votes, to influence business behaviour and government policies respectively. For example, the increasing push for environmental sustainability and ethical business practises saw more companies adhering to the Triple Bottom Line – profit, people and the planet. Thus, aside from improving one’s own financial literacy, understanding economics allows one to gain a nuanced understanding of the trade-offs and opportunity costs present in any policy, and hence make more informed decisions to better our future.