Multicultural Perspectives Public Speaking Competition

Latest Competition News

The Years 5&6 competition finished with a final at the ABC Centre and Ava Dupont from Scarborough Public School (north of Wollongong!) was named the state champion. Congratulations to her as well as to Caden Anbu from Epping Heights Public School who was named runner-up on the day, and finally to all the other speakers at the final who were pretty much perfect. Ava joins Harriet Coates from Bolwarra Public School (it's near Maitland!) who won the Years 3&4 final a few weeks ago - if you'd like to watch either final, there're videos at the bottom of this page so you can see for yourself how spectacular every single speech was!

Finally, if you're still holding one of this year's participation certificates, you can click here for a template that will put your name and school in the right place in a fancy font that matches the certificate. Best of luck to the remaining state finalists, and congratulations once again to all the speakers who made the 2019 competition such a huge success!

Multicultural Perspectives Information

For 24 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 yet again had more than 2,000 students from all across NSW participate in the competition, finishing up with some pretty amazing state finals which you can take a look at below. In the meantime, here's a bit more information about the competition - 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 22 March 2019. 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 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 2019?

Years 3&4 Topics Years 5&6 Topics
Playing together Welcome to Australia
Multiculturalism in the media Human rights and wrongs
Watch your language! Australia Day
Refugees Colour-blindness
Kid power! Being a global citizen
Belonging What would Captain Cook say?
Every child matters Sport and multiculturalism
Understanding Learning from the past
What makes an Australian? Australia on the screen
Our backyard It's complicated
Multiculturalism at school Getting a multicultural education

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.

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 25 October, and the Years 5&6 state final will be held at the Eugene Goossens Hall, ABC Centre on Friday 15 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 2019 Years 3&4 champion Harriet Coates from Bolwarra 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. 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!