Naracoorte High School student Zachary Pope won the SA Rostrum Voice of Youth Competition at Parliament House on Saturday. He claimed the third round of the competition, after winning the South East heats in Mount Gambier and the semi-finals in Adelaide.
Zach competed against other contestants from St John’s Grammar School, Loxton High School and Emmaus Christian College, with one of them also in Year 10 and the other two Year 12 students.
The final required participants to write and deliver a new prepared eight-minute speech. Zach chose the topic “Walking a Different Path” and used it to persuade the audience that Australia must move away from all fossil fuels and utilise renewable energy sources.
Zach’s passion in his voice, hand gestures and use of linguistic persuasive techniques were all equally impressive. The short notice speech Zach chose was “The Future of Social Media” and he used his three minutes impeccably well to discuss the disadvantages of social media, in particular the increase in cancel culture.
Zach won a cash prize of $250 and received both an individual trophy and a perpetual trophy. Zach said he was thrilled with the opportunity of speaking at Parliament House and “having his say about environmental issues”.
He now progresses to the national finals as the SA/NT representative in Adelaide on July 31.