2021 Secondary Schools’ Public Speaking Competition SE Qld

The English-Speaking Union (Queensland Branch) 2020 Public Speaking competition will be held in 2021.

This competition requires students to speak on a subject of their choice inspired by a broad ESU nominated topic connected to ESU’s philosophy. The specific 2021 Heat nominated topic for each level is shown below. Students in the Grand Finals will speak to new nominated topics for the required Prepared speaking section and then an Impromptu speaking section. Each student will receive valuable oral feedback from our judges on the night of speech presentation.

Secondary Schools Public Speaking Competition
Senior Division – Heats

On 19 July, the Senior Public Speaking 2021 heats drew 23 students from public and private schools from South East Queensland competing across two heats. The competition was fierce with the delivery of a 5 minute Prepared Speech.

The adjudicators, Dr Lesley Irvine and Dr Caroline Hatcher commented on the thought provoking and diverse views of the students and the powerful, engaging and varied styles of the speakers.

7 students will now compete in the Grand Final on 9 August. They will be joined by the Winner of the North Queensland region competition.

The Prepared Speech of 5 minutes is on the topic: Be the change that you wish to see in the world (Mahatma Ghandi).
Students will also deliver a 3 minute Impromptu speech.

Winners of Heat 1

L-R: Anderson Som, Canterbury College; Seth Marinduque, Centenary SHS; Nicolas Tan, Somerset College and Victoria Jones, Somerset College

Winners of Heat 2

L-R: Emeritus Professor Caroline Hatcher, Organizer and Judge,; Ben Wood, Anglican Church Grammar School; Ebony Niethe, Centenary SHS, Angus Duncan; Brisbane Grammar School; Dr Lesley Irvine, Judge


The English-Speaking Union (Queensland Branch)
Secondary Schools Public Speaking Competition
Intermediate Division

The 2021 Intermediate Public Speaking finals were held Wednesday 5 May with 11 students competing in front of 30 parents.

The topic of the Prepared speech was: Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep balance, you must keep moving. Albert Einstein

Congratulations to our ESU Public Speaking Intermediate Heat winners who now go through to the Finals.

Heat winners: Jasper Vinen – Iona College, Jackson Woodhead – Iona College, Joseph Lewis – Marist College Ashgrove, Dominic Forrest – Brisbane Grammar School, Lachlan Goodhew – Centenary SHS, Eli Gearing – Centenary SHS

Adjudicators Emeritus Prof Caroline Hatcher and Dr Lesley Irvine (QUT) were impressed with the interesting exploration of ideas and the polished presentation of all participants which challenged the adjudicators in their evaluations.

Heat winners with their certificates

L to R Jasper Vinen – Iona College, Jackson Woodhead – Iona College, Joseph Lewis – Marist College Ashgrove, Dominic Forrest – Brisbane Grammar School, Lachlan Goodhew – Centenary SHS, Eli Gearing – Centenary SHS.

The Intermediate Grand Final will be held 6pm 17 May at the Newmarket Hall, 212 Ashgrove Avenue, Ashgrove.

Finalists will speak on the prepared topic: The Networked You. (4 minutes) and then give a 2 minute impromptu speech.


Junior Division Heats SE Queensland

Heat 1 Finalists

Portia Taggert Cannon Hill Anglican College
Ojas Jindal Toowoomba AnglIcan School
Om Thaker Brisbane Grammar School

Heat 2 Finalists
Samuel Kennedy St Andrews Lutheran College
Lucas Lu Brisbane Grammar School
Charli Horne Centenary SHS
Saxon Miller All Saints Anglican

SE Qld Finalists and NQ Finalist, Benjamin Sarnyai (Pimlico SHS) will compete in the Grand Final to be held 6pm Monday 24 May 2021 at the Newmarket Hall, 212 Ashgrove Avenue, Ashgrove.

Topic: “Kind words are short and easy to speak: Their echoes are truly endless” – Mother Theresa.
Prepared Speech: 3 minutes with a 2.30 minute warning bell

Impromptu speech: 2 minutes with a 1.30 minute warning bell. Each participant will have 5 minutes preparation for the Impromptu speech.

Dr Lesley Irvine and Annette Stoddart were the adjudicators at the SE Qld heats competition.
They commented on high quality of the two heats and the diverse and thought- provoking approaches and wisdom that the students of such a young age brought to their presentations.

SE Qld Heat 1 participants


SE Qld Heat 2 participants


Heat 1 Finalists SE Q – Junior
L-R R Annette Stoddart, Portia Taggert (Cannon Hill Anglican College), Ojas Jindal (Toowoomba AnglIcan School), Om Thaker (Brisbane Grammar School), Dr Lesley Irvine


Heat 2 Finalists SE Q – Junior
L- R Annette Stoddart & Dr Lesley Irvine,
Saxon Miller (All Saints Anglican College),
Charli Horne (Centenary SHS), Samuel Kennedy St Andrews (Lutheran College), Lucas Lu (Brisbane Grammar School)


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