James entered the competition as a contestant following the Muswellbrook Lions Club round of judging. At the end of that, he had won not only the public speaking prize, but was deemed the overall winner.
James – supported by his family and members of Muswellbrook Lions and Lioness clubs – then travelled to Dunedoo where he claimed the public speaking title. Again, he was judged to be the overall winner.
On April 9, James attended the District Judging of the Lions Youth of the Year Quest in Windale (Newcastle). The competition was tough with James competing against with four other regional winners.
"The public speaking section required each contestant to answer two impromptu questions: if Disney had never existed would the world be a less happy place; and what do you predict Australia’s living standards will be in 50 years’ time?,” Muswellbrook Lions’ Mark Elsley said.
“On the completion of the impromptus, each contestant presented a prepared speech of no more than five minutes.
“There was quite a variety of subjects including the generation gap; organ and tissue transplants; save the planet; abuse of referees; and technology, men versus women.
“The judges then retired to a quiet area to deliberate on who would win the public speaking and who would be the overall winner and proceed to the next level of judging, that being the State Final at Raymond Terrace.”
Mr Elsley said the chairman of the judging panel, Wyong’s Phillip Morley, commended each of the participants.
“He commented on the five speeches, providing some positive feedback and making remarks from his own experiences in regards to organ and tissue transplants (James’ speech).
“On deliberation, James was declared the winner of the public speaking."
Mr Elsley said the Lions Youth of the Year Quest was a project of the combined Lions Clubs of Australia and Papua New Guinea, to select an outstanding youth to be an ambassador to his/her country and travel overseas under the auspices of Lions Clubs International.
“It’s designed to foster, encourage and develop leadership in conjunction with other citizenship qualities of our youth, at an age when they are about to enter the fields of employment or higher education.”
Story originally published in the Muswellbrook Chronicle and can be read here.
Photo courtesy of Mark Elsley, Treasurer, The Lions Club of Muswellbrook.