Sir Zelman Cowen Public Speaking Competition 2019

Anti-Semitism, climate change, happiness, immortality and Jewish humour were just some of the topics explored at the Sir Zelman Cowen Public Speaking Competition on Tuesday 29 October. The competition offered all students in Years 8 and 9 the opportunity to explore important themes, while developing their oracy skills.

The competition, which pays tribute to the memory of and is inspired by one of Australia’s leading Jewish figures, former Governor General Sir Zelman Cowen, involves students speaking on a topic of their choice associated either with the theme of “Heal the World” for Year 8 and “Jewish Life” for Year 9. The event was hosted by Max E and Shoshi F who seamlessly weaved humour into the challenging task of compering such a prestigious competition.

Overall winner of this year’s competition, Jennifer B (Year 8) spoke about life’s search for happiness and the power of being happy in our society. She expressed her ideas with passion, enthusiasm and most fittingly, a smile.

Sammy V, the winner for Year 8, challenged the audience to think about the ways in which being immortal would revolutionise modern society. He explored the cost and impact that living longer would have and would change the nature of humankind.

This year saw the Year 9 award given to Thomas T who passionately unpacked the anti-Semitic incident that occurred at a primary school in Melbourne. He discussed the ramifications and consequences that anti-Semitism has on our community today. 

Mazel tov to the other finalists, whose outstanding effort is highly commended: Natasha F, Isabella D, Lachie Z, Eden G, Joshua K, Monique Z, Benjamin G, Jem A and Daniel C.

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