The future is looking bright for Cape Naturaliste College year 12 student Sophie Luscombe who impressed senior economists at WA’s treasury department with her essay on the economy.
Sophie was one of three students in WA selected to travel to Perth with her economics teacher Lorna Wardle where she presented her ideas to senior economists and a panel of judges.
She was named runner up in the Economics Teachers Association and treasury’s inaugural essay competition.
“I wrote an essay about productivity and how it is a big problem in Australia, and how the mining boom hid this need for more productive growth in Australia,” she said.
“I said there could have been other industries Australia could have gone into, such as medical research, but we stuck with this really primary based industry, digging up things.”
Sophie said it was an amazing experience which saw her networking with the state’s leading economists.
“I got to talk with these people who are masters in their area and they told me my ideas were good and original,” she said.
“It was such a surreal experience and something I could not pay for, which was the most exciting part about it for me.”
Sophie has only recently found a passion for economics taking up the subject at school last year.
By chance she ended up in Ms Wardle’s economic class and was top of her class after the first exam.
“Straight away I thought oh-my-goodness, I really love this,” she said.
“For me it is a real mixture of science, analytics and logic and there is also a humanity side which takes in English .
“It is a fusion of those two things, economics is the perfect mixture for me and a lot of people who not really good at either side.
“It is this middle ground where suddenly everything clicks, and without Ms Wardle as my teacher I would never have taken this subject.”
The experience reaffirmed for Sophie that she would like to have a future as an economist.
“Being in the environment reaffirmed my belief that it is something I want to do, it is where I am meant to be and these are my people,”she said.
“Every time I talk about economics to my family they groan, so being around so many like minded people was such a surreal experience.”
Cape Naturaliste College economics teacher Lorna Wardle said the heads of the treasury were so impressed by the students and their ability to articulate their ideas at that level.
“Sophie brought up some of the regional issues that we face, which was a selling point too, because it is different here from Perth,” she said.
“Her presentation was amazing it was really, really good and the economists invited her back to do some work shadowing.”