Student speaks way to top

A Limestone Coast student has won his way to the state final of the Rostrum Voice of Youth public speaking competition. Naracoorte High School Year 10 student Zach Pope (pictured) competed in one of two senior semi-finals at Immanuel College.

In his semi, Zach competed against students from Mount Gambier High School, Loxton High School, St Peter’s Girls’ School and Seymour College. The format was the same as the South East heat several weeks earlier with an eight-minute prepared speech from a choice of five topics and a short notice speech of three minutes, with 15 minutes preparation time, from a choice of three topics.

Zach’s prepared speech on “Caught in the Crossfire” highlighted the concerning states of some of Australia’s ecosystems, emphasising the devastation this may continue to cause in the future. Naracoorte High School English teacher Bel Beggs said Zach spoke with passion, using effective tools of tone, body language and eye contact.

“The quality of the speakers in this semi was impressive with a range of topics and speaking styles,” she said. “Zach proved ‘Pope-ular’ with the judges being chosen as one of the two students to progress to the SA/NT Zone Final, along with one of the students from Loxton High School.”

The SA/NT Zone Final will be held at Parliament House in Adelaide on June 26.

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