Legacy Junior Public Speaking Award

Latest Competition News

Entries for the New South Wales section of the 2020 Legacy Junior Public Speaking Award are now open and you can find the form by clicking here.

In case you missed it, last year's state final saw Nikki Han from Queenwood named New South Wales champion, with Megan Wang from Abbotsleigh the runner-up. Congratulations to them and to the other speakers who made the state final so much fun - you can watch all of their speeches from the big day in a video at the bottom of this page.

Legacy Junior Public Speaking Award Information

The Legacy Junior Public Speaking Award aims to encourage the use of clear and effective spoken English. Since its inception in 1995, the competition has provided an opportunity for NSW junior secondary students to improve their confidence and to develop their speech-writing and public speaking skills. Please note that you can download this information as a PDF by clicking here.

What are the prizes?

The NSW winner will receive a medallion and $500 courtesy of Sydney Legacy, and the NSW winner’s school will receive a perpetual trophy. In addition, the NSW winner and runner-up will win the right to compete in the national final and will receive return flights and accommodation for themselves and an accompanying adult courtesy of Legacy. State finalists will receive a medallion and a cash prize of $100 courtesy of Sydney Legacy. All students involved in the competition will receive a certificate acknowledging their participation. Certificates of congratulations will be awarded to all local and regional winners.

Who is eligible to compete?

The Legacy Junior Public Speaking Award is open to NSW government and non-government secondary schools. Each school can enter a maximum of two contestants. Contestants must be either Australian citizens or permanent residents of Australia. Contestants must be 14 years of age or younger on 1 January 2020.

How do schools enter the Legacy Junior Public Speaking Award?

The online entry form for the competition can be accessed by clicking here. Entries should be submitted before close of business on Friday 10 April 2020. 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 for government school teachers) to assist with our organisation.

How much does entry cost?

The entry fee for the award is $28.00 (including GST) per government school student and $56.00 (including GST) per non-government school student. Government 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). Non-government schools will be invoiced after their entries have been received. Please note that fees are due on entry and cannot be refunded even where students subsequently withdraw.

What are the speaking requirements?

At each stage of the competition students present both a prepared speech and an impromptu speech. The prepared speech can be on any subject chosen by the contestant. The speaking time for the prepared speech is 5 minutes with a warning bell at 4 minutes, two bells at 5 minutes and a continuous bell at 6 minutes. The impromptu speech is on a subject chosen by the adjudicator. Contestants receive 5 minutes of preparation time to write their impromptu speech. The speaking time for the impromptu speech is 2 minutes with a warning bell at 1 ½ minutes, two bells at 2 minutes, and a continuous bell at 3 minutes. 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.

What are the rules of the competition?

Other than the eligibility criteria 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 must present without the use of a lectern or microphone. As mentioned above, there are no restrictions on the subject of the prepared speech, though speakers are of course encouraged to choose entertaining and thought-provoking topics to address. In the impromptu section, all contestants in a final will receive the same impromptu topic.

What are the adjudicators looking for?

The adjudicators will make their decision based on the matter, manner and method the contestants employ in presenting their speeches. They will expect contestants to be confident and engaging speakers. The speeches themselves should be developed logically to a convincing conclusion in the time allowed. The adjudicators will in particular be looking for knowledge of the subject matter, skilful development of the theme and the effective use of plain English. Successful 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.

How does the competition run?

Schools may conduct their own internal competition to select two representatives for the Legacy Junior Public Speaking Award. During Term 2 the Speaking Competitions Officer will then advise all contestants of the date and venue of their local final which will be held between Monday 20 July and Friday 7 August 2020 (Weeks 1 to 3 of Term 3 for government schools). The winners of local finals held in the Sydney metropolitan area will proceed to regional finals which will be held at The Arts Unit, Lewisham from Monday 24 to Thursday 28 August. Regional winners and local winners from outside the Sydney metropolitan area will proceed to the state semi-finals which will be held at NSW Parliament House on Friday 18 September. Four contestants from each semi-final will then be chosen to proceed to the state final at the Art Gallery of NSW on Monday 19 October. The winner and runner-up at the state final will compete in a national final which will be held in November.

Who are the organisers and sponsors?

The competition is organised by The Arts Unit of the NSW Department of Education and is proudly sponsored by Sydney Legacy.

What is Legacy?

Legacy is an Australian charity dedicated to supporting the families of Australian Defence Force Veterans who gave their lives or health.

Legacy is there for the long term, providing caring, compassionate support for these families through pension advocacy, assisting with access to financial advice, counselling, medical or accommodation and social support. Legacy is committed to nurturing children’s education by contributing towards school fees, books, uniforms, and recreational activities to aid their self-development and confidence.

The need for Legacy today is very real. Since 1999 almost 60,000 veterans have been created and Legacy stands ready to support their families if needed. For more information about Legacy visit www.legacy.com.au, call 1800 LEGACY and follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com.au/LegacySydney.

Contact details

If you have any questions about the Legacy Junior Public Speaking Award, please contact Justine Clarke, Speaking Competitions Officer on (02) 8512 1172 or email: justine.clarke@det.nsw.edu.au

Who are the past winners of the competition?

Congratulations again to Nikki Han from Queenwood who won the 2019 NSW final at an event in the Domain Theatre of the Art Gallery of NSW on Monday 21 October. Congratulations also to the seven other state finalists, who were Rebekah Cooper (Crestwood High School), Chloe Hoang (Pymble Ladies' College), Brendon Lambert (Georges River College Peakhurst Campus), Mia Seisun (Reddam House), Lani Taylor (Bulli High School), Nickie Tran (Sarah Redfern High School) and Megan Wang (Abbotsleigh). A list of previous winners of the Legacy Junior Public Speaking Award is available here, and below is the video of the 2019 state final. If you prefer you can click here and you'll be taken to Vimeo to watch the final. There you'll have more options like being able to download the video or jump between speakers by clicking on their times. Congratulations on behalf of The Arts Unit to everyone involved in making the final such a brilliant event!