Ten Penola High School students have taken part in the Lions Youth of the Year public speaking competition. The Year 11 Stage 1 English students took part in the competition, hosted by the Penola Lions Club.
Students were divided into two pools, with one sponsored by the Lions and the other being sponsored by the Leos. English Co-ordinator Nikki Cook said the students undertook interviews with a panel of judges, where they discussed themselves, the local region and answered impromptu questions including thoughts on the impact of the Penola bypass, the relationship between Australia and China and their views on the equitability of medical services within the region.
“Students spoke on a range of topics important to them, including the age of licensing, why the world does not need billionaires, the reintroduction of Holden manufacturing, the benefit of mobile phones, the risks of social media, government investment into community sports, why American college athletes should be paid and why the school day should be shorter,” she said.
“Ultimately, Amelia Henry and her powerful speech on why we need to ‘take action to save the oceans from death’ won her division and Georgia Winter’s emotional speech on how we need to ‘raise money and awareness to support breast cancer research’ claimed her division.
“Following this, students gave two two-minute impromptu speeches regarding two on the spot questions including the positive impacts of the 2020 lockdowns, what advice would you give to tourists visiting the South East, how has the COVID-19 restrictions impacted school and home life and do you believe the Olympics will survive the next century.”
Georgia Winter was the overall winner, while Logan Burr was the public speaking winner for the Leo club, while Amelia Henry was the public speaking and overall winner for the Lions club. Both Georgia and Amelia have the opportunity to move on to the regional heats later this year.
Ms Cook said the competition was well received by students. “We would like to thank Hayden Hoad, President of the Penola Lions Club and John Zwar for all their hard work ensuring our students are afforded this fantastic opportunity; the community members who
gave their time to act as judges and timers; all of the parents and community members who came out to support the students, it was greatly appreciated; and last, but not least, the students themselves for their participation and bravery in delivering their speeches