Rostrum Voice of Youth Public Speaking Competition

March 26, 2021  
Head of Senior School - Mr Nick Hackett

Students from The Illawarra Grammar School competed in the Rostrum Voice of Youth Public Speaking Competition at Smith’s Hill High School on Monday 8 March. The Rostrum Competition has been running since 1975 and aims to nurture students who exhibit the spirit of leadership and facilitate their personal growth as young Australians.

Students presented a 6-minute speech (Year 7 to Year 9) or an 8-minute speech (Year 10 to Year 12) on one of the given topics. Congratulations go to Marcelle Davis-Cook, Alyssa Jeffries, Tania Kalsi (1st in Junior Division), Nicholas Chiaverini (2nd in Senior Division), Harrison Ledger (3rd in Senior Division),  and Kieran Berridge who all did an incredible job representing the school. Our students spoke on issues such as child slavery in Australia, the COVID-19 vaccine, unrealistic beauty standards, human rights abuses, artificial intelligence and the disease of indifference. Tania Kalsi and Nicholas Chiaverini will go through to the next round in a few weeks’ time where they will give their prepared speech and then an impromptu speech.                 

Junior Division

Marcelle Davis-Cook (Year 8) – Competing in the Rostrum Public Speaking Competition

Alyssa Jeffries (Year 8) – Competing in the Rostrum Public Speaking Competition  

Tania Kalsi (Year 9) – First Place in the Rostrum Public Speaking Competition

Senior Division

Nicholas Chiaverini – (Year 11) Second Place in the Rostrum Public Speaking Competition

Harrison Ledger – (Year 11) Third Place in the Rostrum Public Speaking Competition

Kieran Berridge – (Year 11) Competing in the Rostrum Public Speaking Competition

The View from Year 9

Year 9 is often an exciting time for Senior School students with the opportunity to select the elective subjects that they are passionate about and that they will study for the next two years. This year, they have also been given the opportunity to select a sport of their choice for Fridays afternoons (a great way to end the school week) and a co-curricular activity of choice for Period 5 on a Tuesday.

With many of last year’s activities being cancelled, it was great to be able to come together as a school at the swimming carnival with the Year group sitting together rather than in House groups. Year 9 stand out performances by Ella McIlwraith, Chloe Vickery, Riley Baird were great to see, however it was the team spirit of all that participated and encouraged that made the atmosphere of the day so enjoyable.

We have welcomed three new students to the cohort this year; Chi Hin Elvis Suen, Luciana Larroquette and Alissar Abou Shalah and look forward to getting to know them more in the coming months and years.

 We also look forward to the return of camps in 2021, with the Year 9 camp scheduled for Term III. Many students are keen to get involved in the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Programme this year with the first hike scheduled for Term II.

Mrs Lyndal Cassidy – Dean of Year 9 Students

The following was written from the view of a Year 9 student, Tania Kalsi.

 2021 is an exciting new year and is a perfect fresh start from the unprecedented year of 2020

In Year 9, the beginning of Stage 5, we are excitedly reflecting on the upcoming school year and setting up our effective and meaningful goals. We are now expected to start taking greater ownership of our learning, by carefully planning our goals and sticking to them. This year is very important to step into our study pathway for HSC success. Every morning we meet our Mentors before our lessons and they continuously encourage us to prioritise our goals with a positive attitude as well as staying focused and motivated to reach our goals this year.

 In Year 9, each student in our cohort has chosen two electives of interest from several options to study across six periods per fortnight. This is a golden opportunity to meet new teachers and make connections with other students in smaller classes who share the same enthusiasm and passion for the same subject. The elective choices are preparation for our chosen designated pathway of study in Year 12.

 Aside from electives, Year 9 also has been able to choose a summer sport of interest to enjoy two periods every week. This is a great opportunity to keep fit as a break from study since Year 9 is still learning to maintain a healthy balance of physical activity and homework. Overall, I’m certain that Year 9 is going to be an intriguing year ahead for all of us.

Tania Kalsi Year 9


The Rain is Pouring and our School is Humming!


Harmony Day