Year 6 students competing in this years Br Tony Whelan Public Speaking Competition Grand Final firstly presented a three-minute prepared speech and were then given ten minutes to compose a one-minute speech. Topics included Social Justice, Science, the Arts, Animals, Sport, A Famous Quote, Social Media and Literature.

Special guests included Hornsby Mayor, Steve Russell and Peter Hamill, Director of Schools. As the adjudicators met to deliberate on their decisions family, friends and guests were treated to a superb piano recital by Kevin Fan, a Year Seven Music Scholar of Knox Grammar School and Youth Ambassador for Fine Music since 2013.

Dr Mark Askew, Head of Educational Services from the Catholic Schools Office, one of the three adjudicators commented, “the speakers were all outstanding. It is wonderful to hear young people who are so confident, articulate and engaging as speakers, both in terms of their prepared and impromptu speeches. Congratulations to each participant!”

In what was described as a close result, Mason Fitzgerald from St Mary’s Catholic School in Toukley won the competition with his prepared speech Every Refugee Has a Name, a Story and a Dream. Jessie Massoud from St Gerard’s Catholic School in Carlingford received second place and Nicholas Townsend from Sacred Heart Catholic School in Mona Vale came third.

In presenting the prizes Mr Hamill mentioned how delighted he had been to witness the passion, dedication and hard work each contestant had put in to both their prepared and impromptu speeches.