Imagination makes us aware of limitless possibilities. How many of us haven't pondered the concept of infinity or imagined the possibility of time travel? In one of her poems, Emily Bronte likens imagination to a constant companion, but I prefer to think of it as a built-in entertainment system.
Imagination and invention go hand in hand. Remember how lack of resources was never a problem in childhood games? Shift a few pieces of furniture around the living room, and you have yourself a fort.
Here is just the beginning of a list of skills that exam results cannot possibly hope to reflect: interpersonal skills, the ability to entertain, how articulate we are as speakers, our ability to work as part of a team, the ability to deal with challenges and invention.
The young people I know judge leaders by their deeds and abhor hypocrisy. Inconsistency and point-scoring do not win respect. It's not easy to be engaged in political debate when it is reduced to performers trying to outdo each other. Actions from leaders must mirror the values they claim to espouse.
Although technology has enhanced our lives in many ways, it has also ensured the erosion of imagination.
Apart from a small minority, teenage boys fall into three distinct categories: macho, metro, or just plain muddled.
As young Australians, the value of teamwork has been instilled in us throughout our schooling.
At one school I visited, everyone had read 'Halo,' and they were all dressed up as angels - with halos!
Because characters are your creations, you are the one who ultimately gets to decide their fate.
I hate the idea of any kid missing out on the magic of reading.
I was the kind of kid who was always making up stories and adventures.
Life is challenging enough without politicians to confuse us.
My school is very good and quite understanding and know I have to take time off for interviews or writers' festivals.
The subject of angels and demons really grabbed me. There is a huge mass of information, and the Bible is one of the most amazing reference points.
Always, as a child, I would go around the house, and if I found a word that I didn't know the meaning of, I would write it down and ask my parents to define it and try to memorise it.
As the final weeks of my schooling draw to a close and exams loom, I find myself reflecting on the past six years of my secondary education only to realise that many questions are still unanswered. How have I been shaped by my learning experiences? What skills have I developed that are valuable and transferable in the workplace?
Childhood is just this amazing place, and in my books, I was trying to express my concern about childhood being eroded. You have kids' TV programs being interrupted by terrorist attacks, and kids are exposed to so much these days.
Gen Y is depicted as self-centred and apathetic when it comes to politics, but it doesn't help that we are largely overlooked. There have been policies to woo parents, pensioners and the sick, but the young do not appear to rank high on any political agenda.
I have a word quota I try to fulfill every day, and I try to do that in the morning and into the afternoon and then go out with friends at night. I love singing and have lessons and enjoy drama, and so I am involved in that.
I have never had other kids in the house... I had a huge collection of marbles, and they all had names, which I think concerned my parents. I used to go and sweep outside and talk to myself, and my mum's friends would be over and say, 'Do you realise she is talking to herself?'