Community & Business

1 November, 2023

Quirky subject wins speaking award

ICE cream was the winning subject at this year’s Mareeba Rotary Club Youth Speaks competition.

2023 Mareeba Rotary Youth Speaks winner Lillia Joslin with runner-up Ella Mayes.
2023 Mareeba Rotary Youth Speaks winner Lillia Joslin with runner-up Ella Mayes.

Lillia Joslin, a year 6 Mareeba Primary School student, shared a three-minute pre-prepared speech about ice cream that won the judges over. 

St Thomas student Ella Mayes was awarded the encouragement award for her speech about body image issues.

Mareeba Rotary Club’s Ida Portella said this year’s competition saw four schools send representatives.

“It’s an opportunity to give young people the chance to speak,” she said.

All schools in the Mareeba Shire are invited to send two Year six students each to take part.

Ms Portella said Rotary Youth Speaks was a competition initiated by the late Cedric Davies OAM many years ago. 

“It was brought in as there is no competition (like Lions Youth of the Year) for primary school aged children and to encourage people of that age to do some public speaking,” she said. 

Year six students are given the opportunity to enter the competition, choose their own topic and speak about it for three minutes. 

They then present this, without a microphone, to a panel of judges. 

“You would be surprised what they can talk about when it’s planned and prepared…it’s amazing,” Ms Portella said.

“Lillia spoke about ice cream and it was really, really clever and well done.” 

Ms Portella said it was surprising how many of the students then went on to take part in other public speaking activities, as well as the Lions Youth of the Year. 

“This initiative is just one of a range of programs for youth that we run,” she added.


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