Altona City Rotary hosted the inaugural Hobsons Bay Wynspeak heat on Thursday 6 May.
Wynspeak is a public speaking competition for secondary school students in Melbourne’s west. Hobsons Bay students attending included 12 from Altona College, Bayside P-12 College, Mount St Joseph Girls’ College and Williamstown High School. The competition is designed to provide a vehicle for young people to grow their self-confidence, build their creativity, critical thinking and leadership skills via public speaking. In 2021 the competition attracted more than 100 entrants from more than 35 schools.
The contest was held at Altona Theatre- the first event since March 2020 that this space had been used, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The winners of the five-minute prepared section gain automatic entry to the competition final, which was held on 16 June, following the completion of eight preliminary heats. The topics chosen by the students showcased a range of current issues- some serious and others more light-hearted.
Bayside College Campus Principal, Nolene Symons, summed up the night: “What amazing young people we have!!! They were so inspiring, confident and a joy to watch. It was a great night.”
The winners of the Hobsons Bay Wynspeak Heat were Bea Payla of Altona College (Junior section) and Sofia Bikicki of Williamstown High School (Senior Section).
The support of ACRC members, Des O'Shanassy and the Wynspeak Committee, Gaye Witney and Peter Shepheard (Altona RC) and a grant from Hobsons Bay Council are gratefully acknowledged. Photograph by Bronwyn Fanning.
Note: due to COVID-19 restrictions, Heat 8 and the Final were conducted successfully on ZOOM for the first time, showing outstanding adaptability by everyone involved...