Mount St Joseph Girls’ College’s Natasha Stanley and Footscray High School’s Leila Todd have advanced onto the finals of the Wynspeak public speaking competition, which annually tests the skills of secondary school students in Melbourne’s west.
Junior and senior students from Altona College, Bayside P-12 College, Emmanuel College, Footscray High School, Mount St Joseph Girls’ College and Williamstown High School competed in the Hobsons Bay heat on Thursday 4 May at the Altona Theatre.
Hosted by the Altona City Rotary Club and supported by a grant from the State Government’s West Gate Neighbourhood Fund the Hobsons Bay heat involved competitors presenting five-minute prepared speeches on a variety of topics followed by two-minute unprepared presentations. Adjudication support by Hobsons Bay Cluster Rotarians Pam Barnes, Damien Hynes, Gael Meadowcroft and Peter Shepheard was invaluable, as was photography by Bronwyn Fanning, time keeping by Mandy Dayal, and Student Liaison assistance by Donna Griffiths and Marg O'Neill.
Adjudicator and Past President Danny Civitico said the students were very focused on various issues the world faces. They presented compelling arguments and offered some innovative, and at times unconventional solutions. These students clearly have the bit between their teeth in wanting to make meaningful change to our everyday lives.
Adjudicator Judith Coghill said the talks were of a very high standard, and the students were to be congratulated on the level of achievement they reached and should be encouraged to maintain their interest in public speaking. A local School Principal concurred: "It was a terrific night with some very impressive students."
Topics discussed included:
  • Learning in Lockdown
  • Misinformation and the Media
  • Effect of War on Children
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Formula One Racing
  • Australia day
  • Advocating for Peace rather than War.
The Wynspeak Final will be held at Thomas Carr College in Tarneit on Friday 2nd June.