Multicultural Perspectives Public Speaking Competition

Years 3 to 6

This competition encourages primary school students to explore ideas of multiculturalism in Australia while they practise their public speaking skills and improve their confidence.

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students public speaking

Latest news

Entries in the 2024 Multicultural Perspectives Public Speaking Competition have now clsoed, and we're working on the draws for the local finals, which will run in the last 4 weeks of Term 2. We'll notify teachers of the date and venue we've assigned them to as soon as possible. You can read more about how things work below, and you can also access that information as a PDF by downloading the 2024 Multicultural Perspectives Information Guide (PDF 674.12 KB)


Competition information

Welcome to the Multicultural Perspectives Public Speaking Competition! For 29 years this competition has been encouraging primary school students to explore multiculturalism in Australia while they practise their public speaking skills and improve their confidence. Every year around 2,000 students are chosen to represent their schools in the local finals, which in 2024 will again be running live and face-to-face all around the state (though there will of course be the option to compete online if the nearest final is too far away or your students have a date clash). Best of luck to everyone – we can’t wait to hear your ideas!

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 and 4 students and one for Years 5 and 6 students. Schools can enter up to two contestants in each of the age divisions, totalling four contestants overall.

How do schools enter the competition?

You can enter the competition using the red button above. Entries should be submitted before the close of business on Friday 22 March 2024. 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 $25.00 per contestant, which means a maximum of $100.00 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, and note that fees are due on entry and can’t be refunded even where students subsequently withdraw.

What are the 2024 prepared speech topics?

2024 Years 3 and 4 topics 2024 Years 5 and 6 topics
Mind your language Mind your language
The Olympic Games January 26?
Peace Welcome to country
My culture and me Privilege
Multiculturalism on our screens Representation
Racism – it stops with me! My neighbourhood
Voyages Learning from the past
If kids ruled the world ... Our voices
Australian stories Conflict
My multicultural school Live together play together

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 at the bottom of the next page. The prepared speech must convey a multicultural message. The impromptu speech topic will be on a general, non-multicultural theme, and contestants will have 5 minutes to write their impromptu speeches, starting with only blank palm cards and paper. The speaking times 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 and 4 prepared 2 minutes 3 minutes 4 minutes
Years 4 and 4 impromptu 30 seconds 1 minute 1 ½ minutes
Years 5 and 6 prepared 3 minutes 4 minutes 5 minutes
Years 5 and 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 a lectern or microphone. Finally, a reminder that the prepared speech must explore multiculturalism.

Additional support for students

The Multicultural Perspectives Public Speaking Competition is an inclusive competition. If, for whatever reason, your students will require support to enable them to participate, please contact the Speaking Competitions Officer so that we can assist.

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. We recommend that speakers download the 2024 Multicultural Perspectives Speaker Advice (PDF 1.88 MB) for more detailed advice on speech writing and presentation in this competition.

How does the competition run?

Schools will likely need to conduct their own internal competition to select their two representatives for each age division. Next, we’ll let you know the date and venue of the local final we’ve assigned you to. Local finals will run in the last 4 weeks of Term 2 at host schools, but we’ll hold online finals if changing health advice requires it or for speakers who can’t travel to their nearest final. The winners of local finals will proceed to regional finals, which will be held in the second half of August. Regional winners will go on to compete at the state finals, which will run in late October for Years 3 and 4 and mid-November for Years 5 and 6.

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 Education team.