Ljpsa Jessica Wins

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22nd October 2010, 06:32pm - Views: 642

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October 22, 2010 

  Immediate Release

Jessica speaks her mind

If the walls at the Art Gallery of NSW had ears, today they heard some very convincing arguments.

Eight finalists of the NSW 2010 Legacy Junior Public Speaking Award tackled involved and challenging topics.

Humour and substance combined in North Sydney Girls High School’s Jessica Cheng’s speeches to win the


Jessica, from Drummoyne, chose, many months ago, to speak on whether Australian forces should stay in

Afghanistan, a very topical issue.

In her five minute prepared speech she described the conflict as costly, saying while establishing a legitimate

government was a priority, education is the key to eliminating extremist views.

The two minute impromptu speech topic, for which students had five minutes to prepare, was ``gone missing’’.

Jessica impressed the judges with her interpretation. ``Australia has many dangerous animals,’’ she said.

``But the place with the highest number is Canberra’s Parliament House.’’

Jessica argued that while discussions were held about which politicians visited Afghanistan for what reason and

made puerile comments around such issues, people were being killed in war.

She said parliament ``is ignoring the elephant in the room’’ – climate change.

``Sense and respect has ``gone missing’’ – we need to get rid of the animals in parliament.’’

Adjudicator Alison O’Connor said while all contestants spoke confidently, the adjudicators looked for diversity,

depth and substance - qualities Jessica showed in abundance.

Jessica, from Drummoyne, and runner up Riverside Girls High student Greer Brennan, from Balmain, will

compete for the national title in Melbourne next month.

Other NSW finalists were Jehannah May from Hornsby Girls, Samantha King from Prairiewood High, Sam

Wallace from Newington College, Sarah Webster from Cecil Hills High, Natalie Buckett from Colo High and Ed

Minack from Shore School.

The award was founded in 1985, in association with the 50th anniversary of the ending of World War II, to

develop confidence and self-esteem in students aged 12 to 14.  Students develop communication skills, promote

the effective use of spoken English and research skills.

1500 students participate in this event nationally.

This year NSW had 423 contestants from 224


The competition is run by NSW Education and Training’s Arts Unit and sponsored by Sydney Legacy

and Defence Force Credit Union.


Media enquiries: Sydney Legacy Media Communications: 

Liz McDougall: lmcdougall@sydney-legacy.com.au  9248 9017 or 0400 686.

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