Recently a group of our Year 11 Stella girls participated in the AHIGS (Australian Heads of Independent Girls’ Schools) Festival of Speech at Tara. It was an excellent experience for the year 11 group that attended and the girls were particularly impressed by the rigour of presentations and precision of the research and preparation that schools demonstrated.
Amy L, Evelini D, Charlotte B, Isabel A, Layla Z and Joumana Q entered the Current Affairs section, which took the form of an informed and insightful discussion from different perspectives, modelled on the Television program, Q & A.
The girls progressed to the finals where they were up against some impressive teams from other independent girls’ schools but finished the day in 3rd place. A fantastic effort.
The girls said they learned a lot about the challenge of public speaking and constructing an argument around a current affair topic.
Lauren C, Maeve G, Erika K and Aiden B entered the Religion and Ethics section and really enjoyed the opportunity to compete. The girls were given the choice of three articles, of which they had to select one (6wks prior). The article they chose was on the Religious and Ethical perspective of ‘Gene Editing’ (a hot current topic). The girls were asked questions in an open forum by an adjudicator for 10 minutes. It was the first time the college had entered this section of the competition. The girls did a fantastic job and rose to the challenge.
Below is a paragraph on one of the girl’s experiences.
“The Festival of Speech was unlike any other speeches or competitions we had ever experienced before, because we were new to it, we really didn’t know what to expect. Our team was entered in the religion and ethics section of the competition, we had to choose one article from a number of controversial topics and the one we chose was ‘genetic editing’. We then had six weeks to critically analyse and work together to create a series of research that we would use in the competition. On the day, we had to answer a series of six unseen questions, in front of the adjudicator and an audience, on our chose article. It is fair to say that on entering the room, we were very nervous, but we knew we had each other and that we were well prepared. From the whole experience, the most valuable thing we learnt was to stand up for what we believe in, and that there are many different ethical and religious opinions that come into play when the world makes decisions. We have learnt to look at the world in a new, more open way and to understand that what we think is right, may not be what the person next to us is thinking too. The speaking competition has taught us the value of teamwork and communication and that it is ok to feel nervous when trying something we have never done before.” Lauren