Public Speaking Competition Sees Year 12 Students Tackle Social Issues

Latest News, Tuesday, 28 Mar 2023

Four Year 12 students, Captains Grace Nanyama and John Cahig, Vice Captain Keiriana Dargin-Clark and Alejandro Guerra Restrepo represented St James College in the national Youth of the Year Australia public speaking competition recently, where they tackled various social issues through their speeches. 

The annual event, hosted by Lions Australia, aims to foster leadership skills in students who are finishing their high school years. It provides a platform for outstanding young people to share and be acknowledged for their contributions to the community, school, cultural, academic, and sporting pursuits.

At the multi-level competition, Keiriana Dargin-Clark and Grace Nanyama won at the Club level with their speeches, which enabled them to progress to the zone and regional competitions. Grace Nanyama received the Public Speaking Award at each level of the competition. 

In true Jimmies style, the students courageously tackled topics ranging from bridging the gender pay gap, homelessness, the Voice to Parliament, and the effects COVID has had on society.

Principal Rebgetz acknowledged Lions Australia, saying that the competition was a valuable experience for the students and that St James College had reached an outstanding benchmark in 2023, with two students making it to the regional final in Brisbane.

“Our students have learnt so much - to have two in the Regional Final in Brisbane is an outstanding benchmark for our college,” said Principal Rebgetz. 

“Over the years, I have seen many students compete in the competition, who have then stepped into careers that have had the seeds strongly planted through the Lions initiative. 

"It was a great accolade to the college to have two strong contestants at this level!” exclaimed Principal Rebgetz.

About Lions Youth of the Year

Participants commit to a detailed process that includes completing an extensive questionnaire about their academic, sporting, cultural, and community achievements. They then attend an interview with three judges and deliver answers to two impromptu questions on current affairs, followed by a five-minute prepared speech to a live audience.

The national competition aims to foster leadership skills and other citizenship qualities to bring forth the next generation of outstanding young Australians. It is open to all secondary students studying a high school curriculum, anywhere in the country. More information can be found here:

St James College, Brisbane Year 12 students Alejandro Guerra Restrapo, Keiriana Dargin-Clark, Grace Nanyama and John Cahig.