Multicultural Perspectives Public Speaking Competition

Latest Competition News

The Years 5&6 state final is in the books and the 2018 champion is Jo Gilliatt from Bronte Public School! It was Jo's third state final in the competition, and something like the seventh state final for the Gilliatt family, so it's brilliant to see them grab a win at their very last chance to do so! Congratulations to Jo and to all twelve other speakers in a final that was unquestionably the best we've ever seen in the competition. There's a video of all the action at the bottom of this page and you can watch the Years 3&4 final down there too. You can also get some info on which schools made it through to the finals by clicking here. Finally, if you're holding one of this year's participation certificates, you can click here for a template that will help print your students' names and school in the right spot. Thanks for a great year of multicultural speaking, and see you in 2019 for an even bigger and better competition!

Multicultural Perspectives Information

For 23 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.

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 impromptu 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 2018?

Years 3&4 Topics Years 5&6 Topics
Watch your language! Multiculturalism at the World Cup
What Australia Day means to me Welcome to our place!
Multicultural classrooms My history, your history
Refugees Human rights and wrongs
Games bring us together Dreaming for the future
Kid power! Australia Day
Belonging Colour-blindness
Global connections Unity in diversity
My story Racism isn't just bullying
Do you understand me? Media matters
What makes an Australian? Living between cultures

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.

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.

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 2018 Years 3&4 champion Lilly Watkins from Kanwal Public School, and to 2018 Years 5&6 champion Jo Gilliatt from Bronte Public School. Below are the videos of the state finals which include the champion speeches and the amazing efforts of all the other finalists from 2018. You can watch them either by clicking play, or if you prefer you can click here and 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 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 2019 competition!