The Plain English Speaking Awards are a public-speaking competition for students aged 15 - 18 years. It provides an excellent opportunity for students to build self-confidence and extend their skills in oral communication, speech writing and research.
PESA is held annually at Nossal High School and this year, Covid-19 made circumstances a little strange for us all and the competition was not exempt from having to adapt to a new normal. From the audition process, to the regional heats, a variety of online platforms made participating a truly unique experience.
Nossal's two representatives were Mridul Garg, discussing political apathy and myself discussing anti-discrimination movements. On the 26 May, we competed in the regional heats, in which I was fortunate enough to progress to the state semi-finals. This was held on 16 June, also on an online platform, with approximately 28 participants. After four rounds, six participants including myself made it to the State final to be held in late July. It was wonderful to hear like-minded young people speak about such a large variety of modern issues both in their prepared and impromptu speeches.
Despite the strange experience of public speaking to a camera, it was made so much more special by the support of many teachers who made it all possible, I’d like to thank Ms Faulkner in particular who helped participants at every stage, whether it be with editing speeches or with technical difficulties.
All in all, it was a very valuable learning experience and I urge all students to take part and make the most of all the opportunities provided by the various extra-curriculars at Nossal.