St Joseph’s College students demonstrated excellence in public speaking in the Toowoomba heats of the 2018 Rostrum Voice of Youth competition.
The College’s decade-long record of excellence in this knock-out competition was recognised this year when Rostrum officials asked it to host the Toowoomba heats, which occurred in the Mary Rice Building on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 April.
Representing St Joseph’s in the junior division were Kaylee Keehn (Year 8), Georgia Savage (Year 9) and Rebekah Wood (Year 9), who each spoke for six minutes against competitors from schools such as Fairholme College, Toowoomba Anglican College and Preparatory School (TACAPS), Centenary Heights State High School, Assumption College, Toowoomba State High School and Concordia College.
In the senior competition, Grace Malone (Year 10), Mackenzie Diprose (Year 10), Mehreen Muhammad-Musa (Year 11), Alexandria Humphries (Year 11), Ethan Chambers (Year 11) and Patrick O’Brien (Year 11) each spoke for eight minutes, moving their audiences with inspirational stories of personal struggle and triumph, social justice manifestos and visions for a better future.
Four positions in each level of the competition were for the winning, with approximately twenty competitors in each level. In the junior competition, Kaylee and Georgia emerged triumphant, with Rebekah named as a runner-up. Meanwhile, in the senior competition, experience clearly paid dividends, with Rostrum veterans, Grace, Mackenzie and Patrick, winning their heats and Mehreen being nominated as a runner-up.
The winners will progress to the South-West Queensland finals of the Rostrum competition, to be held at TACAPS on Saturday 12 May. The junior competition will begin at 11:00am, while the seniors will begin at 1:00pm.
The students and I thank Mrs Barton for her co-coaching of students in preparation for the competition, Mrs Spain for her behind-the-scenes logistical support, and parents for supporting their students’ rehearsals at home and attending the competition.