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By TRACEY EDSTEIN
Early Stage 1 winner Grace Lydon with Mum Sheree and
grandmother Patricia Ekert.
Recently a colleague shared that she had joined her son at Toastmasters to support him in preparing to speak at his
approaching wedding. She admitted that she was finding it tough, confirming the deep fear that public speaking engenders
in so many people. This fear is unlikely to afflict the Kindergarten -- Year 6 students who participated recently in the second
Diocesan Public Speaking Competition.
ORGANISER NIAMH MARZOL,
Principal at Holy Spirit Infants
Abermain, said that 36 students
representing 36 schools competed. "The
interest and participation rate this year
was double that of last year. Nearly every
Region had a final and selected students
to attend the Diocesan Final in each Stage,
Kindergarten to Year 6. Next year we aim
for full participation of all 48 schools.
"The adjudicators were Drs John and Anna
Hill, accomplished toastmasters and
public speaking enthusiasts. They gave
the students individual feedback and
commendation as well as group feedback."
You may ask, why take the time to have
students as young as Kindergarten learn
to speak before an audience, beginning
of course with their peers? Niamh Marzol
said, "It's well known that public speaking
is a source of anxiety for many adults, so
schools are addressing this by introducing
public speaking -- both prepared and
impromptu -- early in children's formal
"By the time self consciousness sets in,
students are already experienced and
The finalists who competed at the Catholic
Schools Office before an appreciative
audience of teachers, parents and
grandparents were representing all those
students who had stepped up and had
Principal of St Joseph's Wingham, Justin
Hutchens, said, "This was our first year
in Public Speaking and we implemented
it from Kindergarten to Year 6. The kids
loved it and the teachers are very positive
about teaching it as part of the English
program in the future."
The winners of each section are listed
below. When the certificate or medallion
has been forgotten, the ability to stand up
and eyeball an audience will remain.
Winner and runner up in
Early Stage 1:
Grace Lydon, Raymond Terrace;
Amy Mather, Adamstown.
Alex Hughes, Branxton; Ella Madden,
Georgia Hudson, Wingham; Elissa Burns,
Isaac Shaw, Nelson Bay; Sam Brown, Taree.
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