Multicultural Perspectives Public Speaking Competition

The Multicultural Perspectives Public Speaking Competition was introduced in 1996, making this the 20th year of the competition! Help us celebrate by joining in and making it the biggest year yet! Last year, 2,055 students took up the opportunity to practice their public speaking skills, heighten their awareness of multicultural issues, and improve their confidence, all while giving us some of the best speeches we’ve ever seen. Please note that the information below can be downloaded 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 are can be accessed by clicking here. Entries should be submitted before close of business on Monday 23 March 2015. 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 at bottom of the next page 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 2015?

Years 3&4 Topics Years 5&6 Topics
What is an Australian? Respect
The same but different Team Australia
Multiculturalism at school Growing up together
Bullying and racism Words can hurt
Kids can make a difference My identity
Harmony Day The meaning of Australia Day
Understanding others Refugees
When does a migrant become an Australian? Learning languages
Sport breaks down the barriers Multiculturalism online
Every family has a story 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 will proceed to one of 8 regional finals which will be held in August. Regional winners will proceed to the state final. The Years 3&4 state final will be held at the NSW Teachers Federation Conference Centre on Friday 30 October, and the Years 5&6 state final will be held at the Eugene Goossens Hall, ABC Centre on Friday 13 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 & Communities. Funding for the Multicultural Perspectives Public Speaking Competition has been provided by Multicultural NSW.  


2014 State Finals Information

The state finals took place in Term 4.

Years 3&4 Final was held on Friday 31 October at the NSW Teachers Federation Conference Centre, Surry Hills. Congratulations to the winner, Timothy Hanna, from Sans Souci Public School (in photo below). The runner-up was Daniel Hwang, from Concord West Public School.

The winner of the Years 5&6 Final, held on Friday 14 November at Eugene Goossens Hall, ABC Centre, Ultimo was Grace Rodgers from Ferncourt Public School in Marrickville (pictured below with her sister Lily, 2012 winner of the MPPS competition).


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?

A list of all previous winners in the Multicultural Perspectives competition is available here.