On Wednesday 18 August, Year 10 public speaking students Jaeger, Colby, Xavier and Samuel competed in the ACC public speaking competition, against a range of students from Catholic schools in Victoria.

Hosted on zoom, the format of the event consisted of two 3-4-minute prepared speeches on any issue the student chooses. The speeches were marked with a clap at 3 minutes and a final clap at 4 minutes. In the first round, Colby delivered a speech on the genetic modification of embryos and the perception of perfection that can never truly be achieved and Jaeger, ambition in world leaders, and that very ambition leading to their downfall. Xavier spoke to advertising and the dangerous tactics marketing teams use to convince the consumer and the immoral future that they could bring. To close the first round, Sam delivered his first speech on COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. 

Year 10 student Patrick Reed wrote both speeches Samuel delivered but fell ill the day before the competition. Samuel stood in and performed Patrick’s speeches with distinction in a collaborative effort from the students. Topics from fellow competitors from a range of ACC schools included copyright laws, procrastination, COVID-19 restrictions, the immorality of large corporations and a range of other important issues and subjects. Following the first round of prepared speeches, the second prepared speech round began. In his second speech, Colby delivered a riveting address on transparency of government and subsequent silencing of whistle-blowers. Jaeger explored the truth behind the infamous dismissal of Prime Minister Gough Whitlam. Xavier proposed the disastrous implications of genetically editing foetuses and the ethical dilemma it provides, through a case study. 

Finally, Samuel investigated the state of inherent political polarization plaguing the United States and the possibility of its replication in Australia. By a large margin, St Joseph’s College achieved victory, taking home the ACC public speaking flag for 2021. The adjudicators commended the team on the quality of prepared speeches and provided valuable feedback to assist in future events. Colby, Xavier, Samuel, Patrick and I would like to extend a massive thank you to Mr Darley for organising this event for us and for assisting us immeasurably in the formation and editing of our speeches in preparation for the competition.