The Kings School, North Parramatta, hosted the 3rd Annual Confronting Concepts competition. Students from several schools prepared confronting, engaging and informative speeches.
Congratulations to Evelini Dar, Bridgette Boydell, Grace Kendall, Caitlin Bruce, Charlotte Carr, Mellissa Candrick and Hannah Bowley for representing Stella Maris at this event. The following report is by Evelini Dar, Year 9:
“I think it is safe to say that as a global community, we face a number of issues; A number of issues which all can be solved with changes in policies, political agenda, but more importantly – a change in attitude and perspective. These issues include gender equality, the treatment of refugees, mental illness and the Palestinian and Israeli war, just to name a few. The 14th October saw seven Year 9 and 10 students make their way to The Kings School for a day filled with discussion on such topics – all being extremely relevant to today’s society, with the day being appropriately named Confronting Concepts.
Each school elected a speaker and panellist, with the remaining students participating in the (very vocal) audience. Being appointed the panelist, I was to play the role of adjudicator addressing the critical and confronting points in the speaker’s cases. As a panelist, I was given the opportunity to comment, agree and refute the opinions of others in an environment where my ideas, too, were considered or disputed with some degree of respect. Such debate not only restored my faith in humanity through understanding that there are people out there who do care for those in horrific situations, but made it clearer that if we were to ‘get over’ humanitarian issues here in Australia such as the very current refugee crisis, we would need to elect much more capable politicians. Discussion like this was prevalent and definitely an experience not quite available in a typical classroom situation.
Our very own speaker, Grace Kendall in Year 10, was awarded The Most Confronting Speech, where the only word to describe her case would be ‘confronting’. The amazing delivery and intelligent matter combined to become a speech which empowered every person in the audience to be much more aware about the social dangers those with mental illnesses suffer as well as how we as people unknowingly succumb to stereotypes. If there is one thing to take away from the day, it would have to be that if one is passionate about an area such as gender equality, homelessness or indigenous rights for example, do not hesitate to take action, as it will lead us one step closer to living a much more productive, peaceful and prosperous life.”
Grace Kendall, Year 10, won the top award of the Most Confronting Speaker. Her topic was “Broken leg, broken heart, broken mind: is the difference how we react?” Congratulations Grace! This is an extract from her speech.
”Dumb. Useless. Evil. Lazy. Weak. Liar. Ungrateful. Dangerous. Pathetic. Possessed.
Day by day, this is how those with mental illnesses in our society are treated.” ………..
“In Australia, 45% of the population will experience a mental disorder at some stage in their lives. Approximately one in five will experience a mental illness in a one-year period, and at least one third of young people have had an episode of mental illness by the time they reach the age of 25. However, despite the regularity of mental illness in our society, there is a prevalent action of stigma, namely, labeling a negative stereotype towards the mentally ill.”
Ruth Longworth, Wings Gifted & Talented Coordinator