Sir Zelman Cowen Public Speaking Competition

Domestic violence, belief in God, developing discipline, a world without religion, Genesis and the Big Bang … once again, the Sir Zelman Cowen Public Speaking 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, and attended by his wife Lady Anna Cowen, involves students speaking on a topic of their choice associated either with the theme of Healing (Year 8) or Jewish life (Year 9).

Overall winner of this year’s competition, Adam E (Year 9), who was the Year 8 winner last year, challenged the audience to think about Judaism as a religion of culture in its broadest sense, not just of laws and spiritual experiences.

This year saw the Year 8 award given to two winners, testament to the high quality of presentations, with Joel G exploring the healing powers of community and Natasha F advocating for the repair and restoration of indigenous rights. Tal D was the winner at the Year 9 level, with a gentle but powerful portrayal of her Jewish journey.

Mazel tov to all those who participated for their outstanding effort and to the winners.

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