Ashleigh Tomkinson, winner of the Gympie South Lions Youth of teh Year 2021.
Ashleigh Tomkinson, winner of the Gympie South Lions Youth of teh Year 2021.

James Nash students win Gympie Youth of the Year quest

James Nash State High School student Ashleigh Tomkinson is off to the regional finals of the Lions Youth of the Year program, having been named Gympie South Lions Club, Youth of the Year overall winner at the recent club judging.

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Ashleigh’s five minute prepared speech explored favourite food- the humble potato. She was one of six contestants from James Nash High, Gympie State High and St Patrick’s College. All six contestants demonstrated a flair for public speaking.

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Isabelle Cantle, from James Nash State High, was selected as the winner of the public speaking section. The topic of Isabelle’s prepared speech was Inspiring Characteristics based on Turia Pitt’s experience.

Ashleigh Tomkinson, winner of the Gympie South Lions Youth of teh Year 2021.
Ashleigh Tomkinson, winner of the Gympie South Lions Youth of teh Year 2021.

In addition to the prepared speech, contestants were required to speak for two minutes on each of two impromptu topics.

The audience of about 40 was impressed by the quality of the contestants, as was the judging panel.

Isabelle Cantle, winner of the public speaking section of the Gympie South Lions Youth of the Year 2021.
Isabelle Cantle, winner of the public speaking section of the Gympie South Lions Youth of the Year 2021.

Judging panel spokesperson Mark Desmond congratulated the students and paid a special tribute to their parents.

The Youth of the Year program, which has been running for more than 50 years, is designed to encourage, foster and develop leadership in conjunction with other citizenship qualities in our youth at the age when they are about to enter the fields of employment or higher education.

(From left) Emma Duffey (St Pat's), Charlotte Keogh (Gympie High), Annalise White (St Pat's), Owen Cross (Gympie High), Ashleigh Tomkinson (James Nash High) and Isabelle Cantle (James Nash High) at the Gympie South Lions Youth of the Year contest.
(From left) Emma Duffey (St Pat's), Charlotte Keogh (Gympie High), Annalise White (St Pat's), Owen Cross (Gympie High), Ashleigh Tomkinson (James Nash High) and Isabelle Cantle (James Nash High) at the Gympie South Lions Youth of the Year contest.

The qualities sought after are those of leadership, personality, sportsmanship, public speaking and good citizenship.

The regional final will be held in Gympie on Saturday, March 20. If successful Ashleigh will progress to the district final on a journey which could take her all the way to the national final at the Lions Convention in May.

FROMLEFT: Lion Rob White (Gympie South Lions), Isabelle Cantle (JNSHS)- Public Speaking Winner, Ashleigh Tomkinson (JNSHS)- Overall Winner, Lion Brenda Scott (Gympie South Lions)
FROMLEFT: Lion Rob White (Gympie South Lions), Isabelle Cantle (JNSHS)- Public Speaking Winner, Ashleigh Tomkinson (JNSHS)- Overall Winner, Lion Brenda Scott (Gympie South Lions)
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