Multicultural Perspectives Public Speaking Competition

Latest Competition News

Welcome to the 25th Anniversary Year of the Multicultural Perspectives Public Speaking Competition! Entries are now open and you can click here to go to this year's entry form and sign up. Meanwhile, if you're a student who's already thinking about your speech for this year, you can click here to download a copy of some hints and advice for speakers and get a jump on the competition!

In case you missed it, last year's competition wrapped up with Harriet Coates from Bolwarra Public School named the Years 3&4 champion and Ava Dupont from Scarborough Public School named the winner in Years 5&6, and you can check out both girls' performances at the bottom of this page. Congratulations to them both and best of luck to all the brilliant and brave speakers who'll be signing up for the 2020 competition to challenge them - we can't wait to see you in action!

Multicultural Perspectives Information

We’re celebrating the 25th edition of the Multicultural Perspectives Public Speaking Competition! For 25 years this competition has been encouraging primary school students to explore ideas of multiculturalism in Australia, as well as giving them a place to practise their public speaking skills and improve their confidence. Every year close to 2,000 students are chosen to represent their schools at the local finals, with a lucky few making it all the way to the state championships. Hope to see you in 2020 for some brilliant speeches & amazing ideas to mark the 25th year! Please note that you can download the 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 two contestants in each of the age divisions, totalling four 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 20 March 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 their “” 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 topics just below. The prepared speech must convey a multicultural message. 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 our 25th anniversary year?

This year is a significant year for multicultural education in NSW government schools. It isn’t just the 25th year of the competition, it’s also the 20th anniversary of the Racism. No way. project and the 21st birthday of the Calendar for Cultural Diversity. To celebrate those milestones, ‘Racism. No way’ and ‘Our place’, the theme of the Calendar for Cultural Diversity 2020, have been included in both age divisions.

Years 3&4 Topics Years 5&6 Topics
Our place Our place
Racism - No way Racism - No way
Refugees A world of difference
Our national anthem Colour matters
Kid power! Sports - bringing people together
Respect Welcome to Australia
When does a migrant become an Australian? It's complicated
The Olympics - breaking down barriers Becoming a global citizen
Belonging in school Learning from the past
Words can hurt Many voices one land
Australia - the next 25 years Australia: TV versus real life

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 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. You can download some more detailed advice for speakers by clicking here.

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 must present 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 their two 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 eight regional finals which will be held in the second half of 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 23 October, and the Years 5&6 state final will be held at the Eugene Goossens Hall, ABC Centre on Friday 20 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 Multicultural Education team, both from 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 2019 Years 3&4 champion Harriet Coates from Bolwarra Public School, and to 2019 Years 5&6 champion Ava Dupont from Scarborough Public School. Below are the videos of the state finals which include the champion speeches and the amazing efforts of all the other finalists. 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 how to win our 25th anniversary competition!