Multicultural Perspectives Public Speaking Competition

Latest Competition Information

The regional finals of the 2017 Multicultural Perspectives competition have wrapped up and we're down to just 24 students in the running to be named state champions! They'll be competing in one of two state finals in November, and everyone is invited to come along and watch their amazing speeches. Click here for an invitation with some details on each event, and hopefully we'll see you then.

If you're one of the finalists and have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us by calling (02) 8512 1172 or by emailing Finally, if you're still holding one of this year's participation certificates and it's blank, you can click here for a template that will help print your students' names and school in the right spot. Best of luck to all the state finalists, and congratulations again to all the speakers who made the regional finals the best we've ever seen!

Multicultural Perspectives Information

For 22 years now the Multicultural Perspectives Public Speaking Competition has been encouraging primary school students to explore ideas of multiculturalism in Australia, as well as giving them a place to practice their public speaking skills and improve their confidence. Last year we once again had more than 2,000 students from all across NSW participate in the competition, culminating in two amazing state finals - you can check out the videos at the bottom of the page. Please note that you can download the basic competition information below as a PDF by clicking here.

Who can enter the competition?

The Multicultural Perspectives Public Speaking Competition is open to all NSW government primary schools. The competition has two different age divisions – one for Years 3&4 students and one for Years 5&6 students. Schools can enter a maximum of 2 contestants in each of the 2 age divisions, totalling 4 contestants overall.

How do schools enter the competition?

The online entry form for the competition can be accessed by clicking here. Entries should be submitted before close of business on Friday 23 March 2018. Please ensure that you include contact details for the teacher who will be looking after the entry. All teachers must provide a direct email address (preferably your “” departmental address) so we can contact them with the date and time of their final.

How much does entry cost?

The entry fee for the competition is $20.00 (including GST) per contestant, which means a maximum of $80.00 per school. Schools will automatically be debited for this amount once they submit their entry form. Please advise your school’s finance department that this will occur. Please note that fees are due on entry and cannot be refunded even where students might subsequently withdraw.

What are the speaking requirements?

At each stage of the competition contestants present both a prepared speech and an impromptu speech. For their prepared speech, contestants must choose a topic from the list of multicultural topics below. The prepared speech must have multicultural content. The impromptu speech is chosen by the adjudicator on the day, and will be on a general, non-multicultural theme. Contestants will have 5 minutes to write their impromptu speeches. The speaking times for each speech and division are outlined below. Note that speakers are expected to finish at or just beyond the official speaking time, and it will be considered poor timing to reach the continuous bell.

Division / Speech Warning bell Speaking time (2 bells) Continuous bell
Years 3&4 prepared speech 2 minutes 3 minutes 4 minutes
Years 3&4 impromtpu speech 30 seconds 1 minute 1  ½  minutes
Years 5&6 prepared speech 3 minutes 4 minutes 5 minutes
Years 5&6 impromptu speech 1  ½  minutes 2 minutes 2  ½  minutes

What are the prepared speech topics for 2017?

Years 3&4 Topics

  • The same but different
  • Every family has a story
  • Kids can make a difference
  • "Boo" to racism in sport
  • Refugees
  • Racism – it stops with me
  • The Australian Flag
  • Multiculturalism in the media
  • What makes a community?
  • Harmony Day

Years 5&6 Topics

  • Sport and multiculturalism
  • One Nation?
  • Advance Australia Fair
  • What's in a name?
  • Racism online
  • Welcome to Australia
  • When does a migrant become an Australian?
  • Breaking down barriers?
  • Words can hurt
  • Multiculturalism at school

What are the adjudicators looking for?

The adjudicators will make their decision based on the manner, matter and method the contestants employ in presenting their speeches. They will expect contestants to be confident and engaging speakers. The prepared speeches need to show an understanding of multiculturalism, and be well developed and interesting. Contestants are also expected to demonstrate a balance of personal opinion and information in their speeches, as well as a balance of humour and sincerity. Finally, adjudicators are required to give equal consideration to the prepared and impromptu speeches in making their decision.

What are the rules of the competition?

Other than the entry rules and speaking times detailed above, it should also be noted that contestants are not allowed to use any props or external aids such as Powerpoint presentations during their speeches. They are encouraged to speak from palm cards and present from a stage without the use of a lectern or microphone. Finally, just a reminder that the prepared speech must have multicultural content to be successful.

How does the competition run?

Schools might need to conduct their own internal competition to select 2 representatives for each division of the Multicultural Perspectives Public Speaking Competition. We'll then advise all contestants of the date and venue of their local final which will be held in the last four weeks of term 2. The winners of local finals proceed to one of 8 regional finals held in August. Regional winners proceed to the state final. The Years 3&4 state final will be held at the NSW Teachers Federation Conference Centre on Friday 26 October, and the Years 5&6 state final will be held at the Eugene Goossens Hall, ABC Centre on Friday 16 November. All schools are welcome to attend the state finals.

What are the prizes?

All contestants involved in the competition will receive a certificate acknowledging their participation. Certificates of congratulations will then be awarded to all local and regional winners. State finalists will receive a silver medallion, and the state winners in each division will receive a gold medallion and a perpetual trophy.

Multicultural NSW logo

Who are the organisers of the competition?

The Multicultural Perspectives Public Speaking Competition is organised by The Arts Unit and the Equity Unit of the NSW Department of Education. Additional funding for the Multicultural Perspectives Public Speaking Competition has been provided by Multicultural NSW.

Contact Details

If you have any questions about the competition, please contact Tony Davey, Multicultural Perspectives Coordinator on (02) 8512 1171 or email:

Who are the past winners of the competition?

Congratulations to 2016 Years 3&4 champion Rafferty Laight from North Sydney Public School, and to 2016 Years 5&6 champion Daniel Hwang from Artarmon Public School. Here are the state finals which include their speeches and the amazing efforts of all the other finalists from 2016. You can watch them either by clicking play here, or if you click on the titles you'll be taken to Vimeo to watch them. There you'll have more options like being able to download the video or jump between the different speakers by clicking on their times. If you'd like to delve further back, a list of all previous winners in the Multicultural Perspectives competition is available here. Congratulations to all of the speakers who made it to the finals, and good luck to everyone watching and thinking about the 2017 competition!

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