Young public speakers battle it out in Parliament

Young public speakers battle it out in Parliament

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West Leeming Primary School’s Harriet Anderson gave a rousing speech taking us into the future and beyond, winning second place.

When the question of what will you be doing in 2050 was put to local Year 5 and 6 students as a debating topic in the Parliament of Western Australia, local schools leapt at the chance to vie for the top prize.

WA Parliament hosted the best young speakers from the Armadale, Darling Range and Jandakot electorates last Friday morning, at the 2024 Inter-Electorate Public Speaking Competition Grand Finals.

One student was selected from each school to speak for four minutes on the topic, with one student lamenting that she will be the ripe old age of 37 then.

Topics ranged from space travel to palaeontology, how music will sound, the strange food we will be eating through to developments in engineering and everything in between.

And it was certainly a tough competition to judge.

Piara Waters Primary School’s Aakash Aravinthkumar gave an animated vision of the future, winning third place.

It was obvious to judges the Hon. Michelle Roberts MLA, Examiner Newspapers Editor Tim Mayne, Radio Presenter Simon Dagnall and former Member for Armadale the Hon. Robert Pierce, that the students were well-honed in their craft with a lot of practice undertaken before the competition.

Hosts of the competition Dr Tony Buti MLA, Hugh Jones MLA and Yaz Mubarakai MLA said they were very impressed with the calibre of entries on the day.

“Congratulations to all participating students. Your confidence and passion were incredibly impressive and it’s clear that each of you put in a huge effort,” Dr Tony Buti said. “Learning to persuade an audience through speech is a valuable skill. Your talent and potential as future leaders of our community shone through in every speech.”

Member for Darling Range Hugh Jones was equally impressed.

“Public speaking is an invaluable skill that takes courage and determination and carries into so many aspects of life and leadership. Every student who participated in this year’s competition should be rightly proud of stepping up and doing so well,” he said.

Member for Jandakot Yaz Mubarakai reflected judge and Speaker of the Legislative Assembly Michelle Robert’s comments.

“All the students shone on the day, making it a tough decision for the judges who recognised a special level of commitment and maturity in our winning students,” he said.

Local schools that took part in the competition were Willandra Primary, Challis Community Primary, Grovelands Primary, Roleystone Community College, West Byford Primary, Piara Water Primary, Riva Primary and West Leeming Primary School.

While the contestants and spectators enjoyed some cakes, tea, coffee and juice, the judges had a hard time agreeing on the winners.

Roleystone Community College’s Sebastian Douglas took out first place in the competition.

In the end, it was Sebastian Douglas from Roleystone Community College in the Darling Range electorate who took first place, Harriet Anderson from West Leeming Primary following closely in second place and Aakash Aravinthkumar from Piara Water Primary who took third place with a lively and insightful presentation.

Photographs – Kelly Pilgrim-Byrne.