The 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.

students public speaking

Latest news

The regional finals are done and the line-up for the state finals is set! Following on from the tens of thousands of students who wrote multicultural speeches at the school level, over 2,000 competed at 81 local finals around NSW, with 162 going on to the regional finals and now just 20 still in the hunt to be named 2023 champions. The details for the state finals are below, and you can email us at if you'd like to come along and watch either of them. Best of luck to the state finalists!

Years 3 and 4 State Final
9:30 AM - 12:00 PM, Friday 20 October
NSWTF Conference Centre, Surry Hills
Years 5 and 6 State Final
9:30 AM - 12:30 PM, Friday 17 November
NSWTF Conference Centre, Surry Hills
Ashfield Public School Armidale City Public School
Avoca Beach  Public School Jamberoo Public School
Bangalow Public School Kurrajong Public School
Brunswick Heads Public School Mudgee Public School
Eastwood Public School New Lambton South Public School
Greenway Park Public School Newtown North Public School
Hornsby Heights Public School Northbridge Public School
Kurrajong Public School Stanwell Park Public School
Ladysmith Public School Sutherland Public School
Pleasant Heights Public School Widemere Public School

Students who represented their school at the local finals will have received a certificate of participation on the day, and if you need to print a student name and school onto one of those, this template will help you get those details in the right spot (PDF 389.1 KB). Just download it, enter the school in the bottom window, and then for a shorter name, use the middle window and for a longer name, the top and middle windows. Maybe print on a piece of paper first to make sure you've got everything right way round!

We know there are also a lot of students who write a speech and try out to be selected for the competition but don't reach the local finals. We want to recognise those students for their efforts as well, so schools can now download this 2023 Multicultural Perspectives participation certificate (PDF 412,84 KB). You'll need to save this to your computer and then you'll be able to open it and type in the name and school before printing and presenting this to your students.

Competition information

Welcome to the Multicultural Perspectives Public Speaking Competition! For 28 years this competition has encouraged primary school students to explore ideas of 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, if all goes well, will be running live and face-to-face all around the state in 2023 – hope to see you at one of them! Please note that you can also access all the information below as a PDF by downloading the 2023 Multicultural Perspectives information guide (PDF 554.25 KB).

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 24 March 2023. 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 $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, and note that fees are due on entry and can’t be refunded even where students might subsequently withdraw.

What are the 2023 prepared speech topics?

2023 Years 3 and 4 topics 2023 Years 5 and 6 topics
Creating connections Creating connections
The story of Australia Everyday racism
Racism – no way! Colour matters
Sport brings us together My backyard
A safe place to call home Raising your voice
When does a migrant become an Australian? Sport is a game-changer
Kids in charge! Learning from the past
My multicultural classroom Privilege
Watch your language! Identity – it’s complicated
Advance Australia Fair? Difficult journeys

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 2023 Multicultural Perspectives speaker advice (PDF 3.08 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 team.

Watch the 2022 state finals.

NSW Multicultural Perspectives Public Speaking Competition 2022 - Years 3 and 4 state final


This is the state final of a public speaking competition which is open to all NSW government primary schools. In 2022, the competition began with schools submitting 1,722 videos of speeches from their students.

NSW Multicultural Perspectives Public Speaking Competition 2022 - Years 5 and 6 state final


In 2022, this competition began with schools submitting 1,722 videos of speeches from their students. From there, 152 were chosen to compete live at one of 8 regional finals, and from those finals these 12 contestants won their way into this state final.

Watch more finals