Well done to our public speaking finalists

Nadia Mohamed

Late last term, 14 of our students competed in the Debaters Association of Victoria (DAV) Public Speaking Competitions in the Junior, Intermediate and Senior Divisions, which were held online. Such was the popularity of the competitions that there were over 750 competitors throughout Victoria vying for a place in the Finals. Therefore, we were thrilled to learn that three of our students have made it through to the Finals: Nadia Mohamed and Rhea Werner (Year 8 – Junior Division) and Annabelle Green (Year 10 – Intermediate Division).

Annabelle Green

First-time competitor, Annabelle, offered the judges a critique of the 1950s phenomenon of the doll, Barbie; she reflected on the negative social impact upon girls’ body image while also reviewing the toy’s potential for reflecting female empowerment within its historical context. 2019 Finalist, Nadia Mohamed, undertook a complex exploration of the theme of the myth of freedom. She explored examples of political oppression around the world in both the East and West before reflecting on our own Australian context. Rhea Werner also explored the myth of freedom by contending that freedom is a double-edged sword, asserting that we value freedom yet are complicit in compromising it when we inadvertently give up our personal data to social media sites which can exploit our personal information.

Rhea Werner

Such sophisticated subject matter for speeches does not occur overnight – it is the process of several weeks of planning and thinking for students and their staff coaches and senior student mentors who guide them through the process. To this end, I would like to thank the staff who have contributed their time and expertise in helping students develop their skills: Ms Gillian Hosking (Junior), Ms Linda Morgan (Senior), and Ms Merran O’Connor (Intermediate).

We now look forward to assisting these students develop their speeches further as they prepare to compete in the Finals online on July 24.

Ms Mary-Anne Keratiotis, Debating and Public Speaking Coordinator