Multicultural Perspectives Public Speaking Competition

Latest Competition News

If you're one of the few speakers who hasn't had a chance to compete in a 2021 local final as yet, we're just working through all our options and we'll be getting back to everyone as soon as we can with our plans to get those last events run. For everyone else we've got 154 local champions who'll be heading to one of nine regional finals across the state! If you're one of those winners and you're wondering "Where to next?" we've already emailed the teacher at your school with that information, but it's also fine to email and we can let you know the date and venue where you'll be vying for a spot in the state finals!

Congratulations to all the winners, highly commended speakers and school representatives who made this one of the biggest competitions in years and years. If you're one of those speakers and you need to print your name on a participation certificate, you can use the links below (just click after the words "Name" and "School", delete those words and type in your own details in their place.) There's also a certificate of achievement you can print for speakers who participated by trying out at school level.

2021 Multicultural Perspectives Certificate of Achievement
2021 Participation Certificate Template for Shorter Names
2021 Participation Certificate Template for Long Names

What are the 2021 prepared speech topics?

Years 3&4 Topics for 2021 Years 5&6 Topics for 2021
Stronger together Stronger together
We are one and free Racism: it's everyone's business
Racism - no way! January 26
The Olympics - bringing people together Sport - making a difference
Australia on TV Media Matters
Language matters Australia - where to next?
Sharing It's complicated
Kids lead the way! A safe place to call home
Reconciliation Healing
Where do I belong? Global voices

Multicultural Perspectives Information

Who can enter the competition?

The Multicultural Perspectives Public Speaking Competition is open to all NSW public primary schools. The competition has two different age divisions – one for Years 3 and 4 students and one for Years 5 and 6 students. Schools can enter a maximum of 2 contestants in each of the age divisions, totalling 4 contestants overall.

How do schools enter the competition?

Schools wishing to enter the competition need to complete the online entry form. Entries should be submitted before close of business on Friday 26 March 2021. 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 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 at the bottom of the next page. 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 Continuous bell
Years 3&4 prepared 2 minutes 3 minutes 4 minutes
Years 3&4 impromptu 30 seconds 1 minute 1 ½ minutes
Years 5&6 prepared 3 minutes 4 minutes 5 minutes
Years 5&6 impromptu 1 ½ minutes 2 minutes 2 ½ minutes

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,
a reminder that the prepared speech must have multicultural content.

What are the adjudicators looking for?

The adjudicators will make their decision based on the matter, manner and method of the speakers. They will expect contestants to be confident and engaging, and will prefer speeches which balance personal opinion with information, and humour with sincerity. The prepared speeches need to show an understanding of multiculturalism, but the impromptu speeches do not. Finally, adjudicators will give equal consideration to the prepared and impromptu speeches.

How does the competition run?

Schools might need to conduct their own internal competition to select their 2 representatives for each age division of the competition. We’ll then advise all contestants of the date and venue of their local final which will be held in the last 4 weeks of Term 2. Local finals will be held at host schools but we’ll hold online finals where health advice requires it or for speakers who can’t travel to their nearest final. The winners of local finals will proceed to one of 8 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 on Friday 22 October, and the Years 5&6 state final on Thursday 18 November. Both finals will be at the NSW Teachers Federation Conference Centre in Surry Hills, Sydney. 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. In addition, the competition is made possible by the funding of the Multicultural team.

Contact Details

If you have any questions about the competition, please contact Justine Clarke, Speaking Competitions Officer on (02) 8512 1172, or

Who are the past winners of the competition?

Congratulations to 2020 Years 3&4 champion Flynn Bunn from Griffith East Public School, and to Years 5&6 champion Olivia Pilgrim from Kurrajong 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 the competition in 2021!