The Sir Henry Parkes Memorial Public School has selected the students who will represent it at the Multicultural Perspectives Public Speaking Competition district finals in Inverell at the end of this term.
Jessica and Beth are the years 3&4 representatives. Tiffany and Archie will represent years 5&6, with Jed and Larissa as reserves.
Students who do well there will be selected to compete at the state finals in Sydney.
Students had a variety of topics from which to choose for their four-minute prepared speech, followed by a two-minute impromptu speech on a topic provided by adjudicator Wayne Lusty, with five minutes to gather their thoughts. For the younger students it was Making mistakes, and for the 5&6s it was Older and wiser.
The latter topic turned up a few gems, as one would anticipate. Jed thought it important for older people to pass on their wisdom, ‘because they’ve been around for ages and ages and ages..’, while Tiffany encouraged our more senior citizens to grasp any opportunity to prove they’re smarter than their grandkids.
Mr Lusty provided feedback to each participant, with general advice including voice projection, using small palm cards, pacing themselves, using their hands, ignoring the presence of the adjudicator and also being wary of using a humour which may not travel well, particularly in a multicultural setting.
He also advised them to now practise with their team mates in the lead-up to the next stage of the competition, and to write down any strategies.
“There’s no memory like faded ink,” he told them.
He complimented all the students on their bravery and skill, but urged them to focus their presentations on the topic.
“It’s hard to get up on stage, but it helps to have a good audience,” he said of the attentive assembly of students.
Mr Lusty said he would be happy to see all four speakers in the 5&6 age group go on to represent the school, with only three or four points separating the field.
He feels that participation in the competition not only stimulates students’ minds but helps them comprehend what’s going on around them
He encouraged them to stay abreast of current issues which may well be reflected in the topics set for them.
The school has long been a participant of the competition which promotes awareness of multicultural issues, being involved for much the competition’s 23-year history. The school also promotes public speaking skills through debating competitions, where the school had a team reach the state finals back in 2014, representing the North West division.
That team was made up of Roshan Caldwell, Ella Wishart, Angela Moore and Kori Eaton. Roshan’s mum Tracy Caldwell is a teacher at TSHMPS and is overseeing the school’s public speaking efforts, being well-versed with the challenges the children will face in competition.
“The state competition is a real eye-opener,” Mr Lusty said.
He rates the students as a ‘fair chance’ to progress in the competition, as long as they focus more on developing their impromptu speech skills and remember to tie their speeches into multiculturalism.