Public Speaking

Public Speaking & Debating Homepage


Joey speaks his way to Lions success

Mr Butler & Joe Middleton

On the evening of Tuesday, 2 November I had the fortunate experience of attending the Charmhaven Lions Club Youth of the Year Competition to support one of Wadalba's Year 10 students, Joseph Middleton.

Joseph had been nominated for the competition by a family friend, Tracey Jenkins, who has been ill and Joseph dedicated his involvement in the competition to her.

Prior to this night Joseph had been interviewed and judged on the areas of leadership, sporting/cultural activities, citizenship and community involvement, personality (impact in interview), general knowledge and academic excellence.



On the night, the public speaking section of the competition was held.  The public speaking was of an exceptionally high standard.  Joseph and the other two contestants were asked firstly to speak on two impromptu topics:

‘My thoughts on the media network Facebook' and ‘How sport relates to the Australian lifestyle'.

All students did very well in this area and there was no clear front-runner.

To conclude the competition, all competitors presented their prepared speeches. Joseph's speech was about his ‘Passion for dance'.  He spoke articulately about his experiences, the benefits of dance and the social perceptions of males who dance.

Although Joseph did not win the overall competition he was victorious in the public speaking section. The judges clearly appreciated his natural and genuine rapport with the audience, thought-provoking subject matter and great humour.

As Joseph's Year Advisor I am very proud to have such an outstanding student as part of our school, a student who has gone above and beyond of what is expected of them and has demonstrated on a public stage Wadalba's values of ‘Respect, Responsibility and Excellence'.

Mr Toby Butler

Year Advisor



2011 Public Speaking Update 


PublicSpeaking Students at work

Wadalba Community School has had an exciting and busy year in debating.  A team from every year group entered into the Premier's Debating Challenge. Two of the teams came very close to winning their zone, and were involved in play offs to determine the winner.

For the second consecutive year, Wadalba Community School's Year 10 debating team, Lily Williams, Kalani Hirst, Gemma Shanks and Madeline Parker emerged undefeated, winning their zone competition. This enabled the team to participate in the Quarter Final of the competition, where they had to compete against another school to be a contender for the Grand Final. Unfortunately the girls weren't as successful on the day, competing against a very experienced team but it did enable them to be eligible for selection in the regional team. Kalani Hirst was selected to participate in a three day workshop to further develop her debating skills. This will enable her to excel when representing the school in the State Debating finals held in December at The Women's College University of Sydney.

The teams continue to work exceptionally hard in their own time to increase their debating skills, usually meeting at lunch or recess time. The students enjoy travelling to other schools, meeting like minded students and forming strong friendships. They realise that the benefits of debating are useful in many areas, such as furthering their learning, interacting in the workplace and experiences they may encounter in their everyday life.



Bendigo Bank Public Speaking Competition 2011

Last term we participated in a new competition sponsored by The Bendigo Bank. In the first round, Jade Masters represented our senior students at The Entrance Campus in a prepared speech ‘Advertising, feeding our needs, not our greeds.'  From the sixteen students participating, eight students were eliminated with Jade making it through to the finals.  On the following Tuesday night Jade was again successful, with four more students being eliminated, leaving the last four students to participate in the Grand Final on the following Tuesday night.  By this stage, Jade had won a total of $200.00 for participating in two rounds of public speaking.  In the Grand Final, Jade's topic was 'Freedom of Speech is worth fighting for' and she spoke on the subject of Sharia Law, a topic that has been largely debated in the media.  Jade spoke eloquently, passionately and convincingly to win the competition. Jade will now be escorted to Canberra as the guest of Craig Thompson and Debra O'Neill with overnight accommodation, a tour of Parliament House, a meeting with other ministers and hopefully the Prime Minister.  (Photographed Jade with the judges Mr Hopper and Mr Pellegrini)


M.U.N.A. Competition 2011

The Wyong/Tuggerah Rotary Club sponsored several of our Year 11 and Year 12 girls in the M.U.N.A competition held annually at Niagara Park Community Centre. The girls, Jess Clough, Bec Larke, Kirsten Chirgwin, Taylah Bond and Tessa Riley dressed up in the French and Israeli national dress to represent their chosen countries. M.U.N.A. simulates the workings of the UN by having teams representing member UN countries, who engage in debate on matters of world political and social concern. The two teams had a fantastic experience, developing an awareness of the United Nations and how it operates.

(Photographed Jess, Bec, Kirsten, Tessa and Taylah, M.U.N.A Competition 2011 - Niagara Park)



Wyong Rotary Inter School Debate

On the night of Monday 10th May, I accompanied our senior debating team to Wyong RSL where they participated in the Wyong Rotary Club Inter School Debate.  Our team debated against Central Coast Grammar School team on the topic "That Australia should increase its population to 35 million by 2050".  The Rotary Club of Wyong invited us to join the Rotarians and their families for dinner while the debate teams prepared their arguments.  The girls, Jade Masters, Jasmine Clough, Amity Rawlings and Hayley Schubert, were to speak for four minutes on the set topic.  Wadalba Community School won the toss and were made the affirmative team.

The debate was well fought, with both teams displaying excellent skills in putting forth both valid and insightful arguments.  Although Central Coast Grammar School were victorious on the night, the adjudicator, Frank Pellerini, stated that ‘the winner was only marginally better' and ‘the feedback is really only nitpicking', the impression was that victory could have been awarded to either team.  The team received valuable feedback that will hopefully assist them to better themselves as debaters.

I was extremely proud of how our debate team interacted with both the other team and the Wyong Rotarians whilst representing Wadalba Community School.  I am confident that these events are beneficial to the students involved, providing opportunities to forge friendships with other like-minded students and those in the wider community.  Both the senior debating team and I would like to acknowledge the Wyong Rotarians for making us feel so welcome on the night.  In particular, we would like to thank Mr Ellis Hopper, the Youth Director of Wyong Rotary, for inviting us to participate in this worthwhile event.

The Sydney Morning Herald Plain English Speaking Award  

Two of our senior public speakers, Jade Masters and Amity Rawlings participated in The Sydney Morning Herald Plain English Speaking Award Competition on Monday, 17 May at Central Coast Grammar School, Erina Heights.  They were asked to present a prepared speech on any subject chosen by the contestant and based on material from The Sydney Morning Herald.  They were also requested to give an impromptu speech on a subject given by the adjudicator.  The girls were competing against ten other students representing five schools from both the public and private sector. 

Jade chose ‘bottled water' as her topic and she argued convincingly that bottled water has no extra benefits than tap water.  Jade did such a good job with her argument that no one in the audience was game enough to take a sip from their bottled water sitting next to them.  

Amity spoke about ‘dreams and inspirations' basing her speech on Jessica Watson and her successful trip around the world in her pink boat ‘Ella'.  Amity also spoke about her generation of today and how they are often targeted for the negative things that they do instead of the positive.

All of the students that spoke on the day were good examples of the younger generation doing inspirational things, being successful and fulfilling their dreams.

The second part of the day was the most difficult, with the girls being given three minutes to prepare an impromptu speech on the topic, ‘Graffiti, Art or Vandalism?'  Both of the girls spoke eloquently and presented many good points in support of their argument.  Considering this was a first experience for them both at impromptu speaking the girls stepped up to the mark and delivered remarkable performances.

Both Jade and Amity received positive feedback from the adjudicator, Peter McNair, with both girls being included in the ‘top seven' speakers on the day.  The adjudicator declared that these top seven students were ‘well on their way' to becoming successful public speakers.  There was only one winner on the day and that honour was awarded to a student from Gosford High School who spoke exceptionally well in both sections.


Mrs M Spinks - Head Teacher English