Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell congratulates the winners of the Big Scrub Public Speaking challenge (l-r) Siobhan Towers (Goolmangar Public) and Harry Whittaker (Dunoon Public) and runners-up Ruby DuPreez-Parks (Dunoon Public) and Ella-Rose Carthew-Wood (Coffee Camp Public).
Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell congratulates the winners of the Big Scrub Public Speaking challenge (l-r) Siobhan Towers (Goolmangar Public) and Harry Whittaker (Dunoon Public) and runners-up Ruby DuPreez-Parks (Dunoon Public) and Ella-Rose Carthew-Wood (Coffee Camp Public).

Little speakers spruik talents

IMAGINE a crowd of over 200 people looking straight at you. The kids on stage, who are aged 9-12, have four minutes to impress the audience.

It would probably be the longest four minutes of their young lives.

Children from 11 different local schools took part in the Big Scrub Public Speaking Challenge and the grand final was held at Lismore City Hall on Tuesday.

Siobhan Towers from Goolmangar Public School took out first place in the Stage 3 category for kids aged 11-12 for speaking on the topic 'Facebook should be dropped'.

Siobhan argued that it makes no sense for kids her age to spend four hours every night sending messages to their friends "who they spent the whole day with at school already!".

"The other topic I almost used was 'pocket money should be compulsory' but then I thought the Facebook one would be better," she said.

"My topic was not popular, I took a risk and it paid off."

Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell was one of the judges and in awarding Siobhan first place said she "used great vocabulary, her timing was perfect, (she) sounded natural, looked at the audience and did not use cards".

Ella-Rose Carthew-Wood, from Coffee Camp Public School, was runner up, speaking on the topic 'My beliefs'.

In the Stage Two category for 9-10-year olds, Harry Whittaker from Dunoon Public school impressed the judges with his take on the topic 'Lollies', while Ruby DuPreez-Parks, also from Dunoon, came second for her speech 'Every family has a story'.

Another popular topic this year was trying to unearth the real story of Humpty Dumpty which brought up some interesting conspiracy theories.


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