Last week Year 12 student Holly Williams represented St Columba at the State Semi-Final of the NSW Plain English Speaking Competition. Holly was selected to represent the Northern Region after winning the Regional Final of this competition, held earlier last term. This year, the event was held virtually.
The competition, which is open to both state and independent school students, has at its heart issues of social justice. Each speaker is required to compete in two sections – the prepared and impromptu.
In the prepared section, candidates are required to speak on a subject of their choosing for eight minutes and Holly’s speech addressed the issue of police brutality, presenting an intellectually and emotionally challenging discursive on this contentious and challenging issue. The impromptu part of the speaking event required Holly to engage with the topic “Neck and neck”. Holly was allotted three minutes to prepare and then required to speak for three minutes.
Amidst a field of the state’s best and brightest young minds and voices, Holly spoke with great eloquence around the challenges faced by woman and her rising awareness of her place in the world as a young feminist. Receiving highly affirming feedback from the adjudicator, who particularly noted her poise, composure and thoughtful engagement with divisive and significant topics, has inspired Holly, a relative newcomer to public speaking, towards new goals and future pathways in her life.
Congratulations to Holly on a stellar speaking performance and representation of our school. We feel certain we are witnessing another young woman on the rise.