Students from St Bernard’s Catholic Primary School Botany will give voice to their thoughts on topics including technology and the value of a Catholic education at the newly expanded Botany-Randwick Public Speaking Competition.

The competition began with just three Sydney Catholic primary schools and has grown to include 14 primary and four secondary schools for the first time this year. 

“Our students have important, thoughtful things to say that need to be heard.” 

Students from Champagnat Catholic College Pagewood, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart College Kensington, and Brigidine College and Marcellin College in Randwick have mentored students to become more effective public speakers as part of the program. They will also help to adjudicate during the semi-finals on 7 June. 

Participants from Years 5 and 6 will give a two-to-three-minute speech on one of four topics. They will be assessed based on their clarity, fluency and confidence when speaking. Points will be awarded based on their use of appropriate and emotive language, and research to support their point of view. 

St Bernard’s Year 6 student and school captain, Marco Jerich, participated in the school-based competition and hopes to be selected to take part in the Botany-Randwick competition’s semi final.

“I have chosen the topic There is nothing more rewarding than being of service to others,” he said.

“I felt like I had a connection with it because I really like serving others and helping people out. I like public speaking because you get the opportunity to give your opinion on a certain topic in front of an audience or crowd.”

Principal Jennifer Chu said the competition gave students the opportunity to grow their confidence and self-expression. 

“Public speaking can be very daunting but the students develop confidence as a result of having a go,” she said.

“They receive great feedback from their peers and teachers and also learn a lot from listening to each other. They appreciate the power of their voice. ”

SEMI-FINAL TOPICS 

  • ‘Nothing is more rewarding than being of service to others’ 
  • ‘The internet has caused more problems than it has solved’ 
  • ‘We must treat our elders with respect’ 
  • ‘Two hundred years of Catholic Education in Australia is worth celebrating’