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.

2022 applications

Applications open Friday 28 January 2022 (Term 1 Week 1)
Applications close Friday 25 March 2022 (Term 1 Week 9)

students public speaking

Latest news

Entries in the 2022 competition are now open. If you haven't already, we'd also love your feedback on your experiences last year. Please complete our quick public speaking survey about the 2021 competition.

Competition information

Welcome to the Multicultural Perspectives Public Speaking Competition! For 27 years this competition has been encouraging 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 will hopefully be running live and in-person all around the state in 2022 – hope to see you at one of them!

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?

The online entry form for the competition is available using the red button above. Entries should be submitted before close of business on Friday 25 March 2022. 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 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 or 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 3 and 4 impromptu 30 seconds 1 minute 1½ minutes
Years 5 and 6 prepared 3 minutes 4 minutes 5 minutes
Years 5 and 6 impromptu 1½ minutes 2 minutes 2½ 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 palmcards and must present without the use of a lectern or microphone. Finally, a reminder that the prepared speech must explore multiculturalism.

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. Detailed advice for speakers will be available on our website soon.

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 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.

2018 Multicultural Perspectives Public Speaking Competition

Duration: 2:29


Justine Clarke
Speaking Competitions Officer
The Arts Unit

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