Words can heal
Daniel Hwang, School Captain of Artarmon Public School in Sydney's North Shore, has won the NSW state final of the 2016 Multicultural Perspectives Public Speaking Competition.
Beating 13 other senior primary school student finalists from across the state, Daniel's four-minute prepared speech on ‘words can hurt' impressed the adjudicators with its detailed and charming narrative linking personal experiences of growing up in Australia as the son of South Korean migrants, to the broader issues of racial tolerance and harmony.
Daniel was also praised for his clear and confident delivery.
Fourteen senior primary school students, drawn from Years 5 and 6, competed for the title on Friday 18 November in Sydney. Students delivered a two-minute impromptu speech on ‘taking it easy', and a four-minute prepared speech chosen from:
• Words can hurt
• My identity
• Multiculturalism online
• Boundless plains to share
• Stronger together
• Global connections
• Re-Reclaim Australia
• "Boo" to racism in sport.
Minister for Education, Adrian Piccoli said the competition encourages students to refine their public speaking skills and heighten their awareness of multicultural issues.
"I commend all students who participated in the competition this year and especially congratulate the winner," Mr Piccoli said.
"As much as some of us might try to avoid it, public speaking is an invaluable and necessary life skill.
"The Multicultural Perspectives Public Speaking Competition is a great way to help students develop their interest and ability in public speaking."
Mr John Ajaka said the competition is an opportunity for children to stand up and have their voices heard.
"Children and young people are the leaders of tomorrow and their perspectives on important topics such as racism, bullying and maintaining our cultural diversity must be heard loud and clear."
"The competition shows just how switched-our state's young people are when it comes to discussing cultural diversity ."
Chief Executive Officer of Multicultural NSW, Mr Hakan Harman, praised the skill and the sophistication of the speakers.
"These young people are wise beyond their years. To hear them speak so profoundly about multicultural issues, and with such conviction was inspiring. I felt re-assured that our multicultural society will flourish into the future."
The contest, now in its 21st year, is an initiative of the NSW Department of Education and is sponsored by Multicultural NSW.
This year, 2,043 students entered the competition. Seventy-five local finals and eight regional finals were held throughout NSW in the lead up to the state final.
For more information on the competition, go to: https://www.artsunit.nsw.edu.au/speaking-competitions/public-speaking/multicultural-perspectives-public-speaking-competition-0