Patrick Connolly has won the Rostrum Voice of Youth Australian National title but is now back on the stage in the Gympie eisteddfod this week.
Patrick Connolly has won the Rostrum Voice of Youth Australian National title but is now back on the stage in the Gympie eisteddfod this week. Renee Pilcher

Patrick wins Voice of Youth award

ELOQUENCE coupled with a sharp mind enabled Gympie's Patrick Connolly to win the prestigious Rostrum Voice of Youth Australian National Final held at Brisbane last Saturday evening.

The St Patrick's College Year 9 student brought home the winner's trophy, as well as the perpetual shield, which will be displayed at his school.

Local Rostrum co-ordinator Dawn Hannan said Patrick's six minute speech, People Behaving Badly, “brought the house down”.

Queensland hosted this year's final with a black-tie function at All Hallows School's Claver Theatre. Mrs Hannan said 14 students from six states and the ACT, who had won their way through the various regional and state heats, presented fascinating speeches that were of a very high standard.

“There is great excitement about Patrick's win,” Mrs Hannan said. “An extra celebration was that the senior title was won by Matt Collins of Kepnock State High School in Bundaberg.

“Both Patrick and Matt are from the Wide Bay Region.

“Everybody was in awe that two students from regional Queensland scooped the pool.”

For Patrick, winning the title is the culmination of a substantial amount of hard work and application but he said it has been a very rewarding experience.

“It was definitely worthwhile,” he said.

“ In all the levels leading up to the Nationals, it was interesting hearing other people's topics.”

As well as their prepared speech, finalists were given a choice of three topics and then allowed 15 minutes to come up with a three minute impromptu speech.

Patrick's off-the-cuff effort “Call it quits” was about the fear of public speaking.

Gympie Times


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