Diocesan Secondary Schools Public Speaking Competition 2018

Around 70 students from Years 7 to 11 showed off their public speaking skills at the Diocesan Secondary Schools Public Speaking Competition.

Organised by CSO Education Officers, Christine Chapple and Carmel Tapley, the day was attended by students from St Joseph’s Aberdeen; St Pius X Adamstown; St Paul’s Booragul, St Bede’s Chisolm; St Mary’s Gateshead, St Joseph’s Lochinvar, San Clemente Mayfield, St Peter’s Maitland, St Catherine’s Singleton and St Clare’s Taree.

The adjudicators of the day were members of the various Hunter and Central Coast Toastmasters Clubs including Trevor McIlveen, Paul Standing, Mark Walter, David Heggart, Janelle Pratten, Jackie Bartley, Rowell Mariano, Debbie King and Michelle Richards.

Students were required to deliver both impromptu and prepared speeches, with students given five minutes to prepare their impromptu speeches.

The topics for the speeches were:


  • Year 7 – If I wrote a letter to the Prime Minister I would say…
  • Year 8 – Last night I had the strangest dream
  • Year 9 – Fast forward to 2022
  • Year 10 – Creativity matters
  • Senior – Imagine a world where everyone was equal


  • Years 7/8 - My ideal school
  • Years 9/10 - If I could change one thing about the world it would be…..
  • Senior - The things I have learned that have made me wiser

The winners of the Secondary Public Speaking competition were:

Year 7

Division A: Sophia Moran (St Pius X, Adamstown)

Division B: Emily Russell (St Mary’s, Gateshead)

Year 8

Division A: Patrick Howlett (St Mary’s, Gateshead)

Division B: Jamie Smith (St Clare’s, Taree)

Year 9

Division A: Angus O’Connor (San Clemente, Mayfield)

Division B: Meg Southcombe (St Joseph’s, Aberdeen)

Year 10

Division A: Georgina Saad (St Clare’s, Taree)

Division B: Liam Nash (St Mary’s, Gateshead)

Senior (Year 11)

Grace McCallum (St Clare’s, Taree)

The overall champion school was St Pius X, Adamstown.

Thank you to all who attended, to the Catholic Development Fund which sponsored the prizes for the winners of each category and to those who helped to make the day a successful and positive learning experience for all students involved.