Public Speaking and Debating
Congratulations to Year 8 student Caitlin Mujie, who successfully made it through to the National Finals of the United Nations Youth Association Public Speaking Competition called "The Voice". Thank you also to Jackie Benton for sharing some of her time and expertise on Aboriginal people with Caitlin.
The Voice Public Speaking is run by the UNYA Australia and provides young people with the opportunity to propose creative ideas to solving global issues. I had the honour of being amongst the 5 delegates representing Victoria for the national finals.
Due to COVID restrictions, a hybrid approach was adopted, with some states conducting the event via Zoom. For Victoria, we had two days online and one onsite with the other Victorian delegates.
The three day event was packed with speeches and an array of workshops and social activities. We even had two guest speakers - a former US senator and a President of a youth not-for-profit organisation. It was an eye-opening discussion as I learnt about their struggles and how they overcame them.
On the third day, results were released. I made it into the top five of the Junior Division for the Grand Final. That moment was a mixture of joy but nerves because in two hours we had to research, plan and write a speech on the topic, ‘How can international organisations effectively respond to the rise of nationalism?’ All finalists in both divisions presented their speeches followed by a Q&A session.
While preparing for the speech, the other delegates had Trivia and a UN Youth Representative Consult. Though I didn’t make it in the top two of my division, it was still a wondrous experience. Listening to the other speeches also gave me different perspectives and ideas.
Throughout this journey, I have enriched and improved my skills in public speaking, helped to sharpen my reasoning skills and the ability to think on my feet. It was an exciting experience. I made friends that were really supportive and the team running the event were amazing. I would like to thank my parents, Mrs Valladares, the staff and my friends that assisted me tremendously throughout the whole competition. I couldn’t have done it without them. This public speaking opportunity is open to all students from Years 7-10 and I highly encourage everyone to give it a shot. You will definitely gain from the experience.
Caitlin Mujie | 8 Silver