Multicultural Perspectives Public Speaking Competition

Latest Competition News

Judging in the 2020 competition has wrapped up and videos of the adjudications and feedback are being distributed to schools. If you haven't seen your adjudication we promise it's not far off, and in the meantime you can click here to see a list of all 40 finals that tells you which schools you were against and which of those schools had a contestant announced as a winner

We'll be in touch with those winners before the term is out with news of the next level of the competition, but for now our congratulations and thanks to all of the students who submitted well over 1,000 videos of insightful, entertaining, and never-more-relevant speeches in the 2020 competition!

We also wanted to provide everyone with a bit of information on how we'll be keeping the videos we receive safe and private.

  • Videos will be uploaded by a teacher from the student's school using our secure and private uplink.
  • That teacher will receive an email to confirm that we've received the video and remind them to delete the video from their own device once the competition is completed.
  • We'll alter the filename of the video to ensure it doesn't include any student names.
  • Only the Speaking Competitions Officer and the Multicultural Perspectives Coordinator will have access to the complete library of videos.
  • Adjudicators will have access only to the video files they are assigned to adjudicate, and they will not be able to download the videos. All have current Working With Children clearances.
  • Once this first level of the competition is completed, all videos will be permanently deleted.

Finally, we've put together a certificate of achievement for all the students at your school who get involved and you can access that by clicking here. We'll be posting out Participation, Highly Commended and Congratulations certificates to schools as soon as we're able but this should work if you have an upcoming awards assembly where you want to present the students with something to recognise their achievement.

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!

Who can enter the competition?

The 2020 Multicultural Perspectives Public Speaking Competition is open to all NSW government central and 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 age division (so a maximum of 4 overall).

How do schools enter the competition?

The online entry form for the competition can be accessed by clicking here. Schools who already entered the 2020 competition before it was paused can simply email to confirm that they will be involved. New entries should be submitted by the end of Week 5 Term 3. Please ensure that you include contact details for the teacher who will be looking after the entry.

How much does entry cost?

The entry fee for the competition is $10.00 per contestant, which means a maximum of $40.00 per school. Schools will automatically be debited for this amount after we receive their videos. Please advise your school’s finance department that this will occur.

What are the speaking and filming requirements?

For the first round, schools will submit a video of their chosen students’ prepared speeches. The speech must be on one of the 2020 topics (below). Years 3&4 speakers should write a 3 minute speech and Years 5&6 speakers should write a 4 minute speech, though we won’t mind if you go over by 30 seconds. Speakers who make it through to the later rounds will likely compete online and will also deliver an impromptu speech.

We’ll accept any video format, and we’ll be focusing on the speech and the speaker rather than how well-produced the video is, so a simple recording on any device will be fine. We recommend filming in portrait from the knees up, but any framing is fine, and we also recommend filming with an audience at school (that way your speaker gets some of the fun and experience of delivering to a live audience) though of course it’s fine to try a few takes to get it right! We’ll be in touch with detailed information on how to upload and our security and privacy plans once schools have entered.

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.  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 multiculural content to be successful.

How does the competition run?

Schools might need to conduct their own internal competition to select their 2 representatives for each division of the Multicultural Perspectives Public Speaking Competition. Then they’ll upload videos of the speeches and we’ll place them into “video local finals” of approximately 12 speakers (students from the same school will be placed in the same final). The video local finals will be adjudicated by a panel and a winner chosen to proceed to the next round. Every video submitted will receive a reply with some personal feedback on how to keep improving as a speaker.

Winners of video local finals will proceed to live preliminary finals in term 4 where they’ll deliver both a prepared and an impromptu speech. We’ll assess whether these will be in-person or online as health and safety advice comes in, but there’ll be an option to compete online no matter which way we go. The same will be true for 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!

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