Bachelor of Arts / Advanced Studies (Politics and International Relations)

How have you been involved in Public Speaking & Debating?

I’ve been public speaking competitively since I was 11, and I debated competitively in the Catholic Schools Debating Association (CSDA) system through high school. In year 11 and 12, I was the school captain and captain of debating and public speaking, so I spent a lot of time speaking at school events as well as mentoring younger students.

What experience do you have working with children?

I’m very involved in my local surf club and have 4 years of water safety experience that I gained through volunteering at nipper’s every Sunday. Through surf club, I have volunteered helping with disabled and refugee children’s surfing and water awareness programs, as well as mentoring kids at swimming club and board rider’s. I also spent 2 years volunteering for SCARF, providing refugee children with help on their homework every week.

What public speaker inspires you and why?

I am a huge fan of stand up comedy, and as speakers, I find stand up comedians fascinating to observe. I am inspired by the level of audience engagement that they command when they speak, especially those that work with observational humour and political commentary. Richard Pryor and John Mulaney are my all-time favourites, and I find it important in speech writing to think about how they fine-tune their presentation skills to be able to appear authentic, making them look effortlessly funny

What is one tip you wish someone had told you about Public Speaking or Debating?

That the key to success is to find a formula. To be able to prepare a speech that I’m proud of, I need to have key elements working together properly, and through competing in public speaking, I have slowly learnt which of these work the best for me. I really like teaching the Sydney speaking schools’ programs because they help kids build a basic formula for their speeches, which they can then use to develop their own speaking style. I really wish I had started off with such a strong foundation, it would have helped a lot with my confidence in those early days!