Boys' School Speech Competitions

July 02, 2021 at 2:59 PM

Over the course of two days this week, students, staff, proud parents and invited judges were privileged to hear the delivery of some outstanding speeches from our boys in Years 5-8.  Oratory skills are clearly well advanced at the Boys’ School and the confidence with which each boy spoke in front of a large audience was clear to see.

This year, for the first time, both the Middle School and Senior School were given ‘Diversity’ as the theme on which to base their speeches. This universal theme has been asked of all schools in the Remuera district in preparation for the inter-school competition. Despite the common theme, as always, the speeches were original, entertaining and of an exceptional standard – and very diverse in their own way!

Middle School Speech Competition
On the first day, we were pleased to welcome television personality, Jeremy Wells, a former Boys’ School student, and Director of Head Held High, Kate Laurence to adjudicate the Middle School Boys.

The following day, we welcomed back Mrs Laurence, who was joined by television director and producer, and former Saint Kentigern parent, Mrs Jude Dobson to judge the Senior School boys. Judging is never an easy task when the content and standard of presentation is so high. Our adjudicators were looking for originality, clarity and well-structured speeches, as well as how the audience engaged with each speaker.

Tommy Wright was the overall winner for the Middle School, telling his audience that, despite 7.6 billion people having one around the world, birthdays are celebrated in a myriad of diverse ways. In second place, Oliver Mar stressed the importance of individuality and uniqueness, ‘We are all a little different and we need to play our own part, so the world runs smoothly.’ Ayden Singh-Ali was placed third for his speech about Ethnic Diversity in Auckland, finishing, ‘I look forward to a future where cultural diversity is not only accepted but celebrated!’


Senior School Speech Competition
After the impressive speeches from our Middle School students, the bar was raised even higher when eleven of our Senior School students took to the stage. Again, the range of speeches on the common topic made it clear that this generation recognises that willingness to embrace a diversity of people and ideas make for a rich fabric of society.

Lachlan Morris was awarded first place for a well-written speech, likening the colours of jellybeans to a diversity of human emotions. Just like in a jar, the many-coloured jellybeans live side by side, Lachlan said, ‘It would be good if humans could allow our different cultures, emotions and generations to respect each other better…and get along like jelly beans!’

Thomas Morrison was awarded second place for his impassioned speech on giving greater consideration to those who are disabled, ‘We’ve changed our views on women, people of colour, and the LGBTQ+ community, so why haven’t we changed our views related to the disabled?’ In third place, Jacob Bethell encouraged the Saint Kentigern community to embrace Te Reo ‘to help us in becoming wide-thinking citizens of Aotearoa.’

Well done to all our participants and thank you to MCs, Xavier Knox and Ryder Greaves, who kept the Middle School afternoon flowing and Niko Arlidge who took on the role the following day for the Seniors; and to our musicians Eason Liu on piano, Aaron Zhao on guitar, Liam Jarvis on saxophone and Brian Zhou on piano, for their fantastic performances. Theo Spillane and Jacque Rupe offered their services as the ‘Tech Crew’ for Middle School and Nicholas Webster and Zach Morpeth-Napier for the Seniors.

Our sincere thanks to Jeremy Kyle, Kate Laurence and Jude Dobson for taking the time to come and adjudicate and offer the boys such positive feedback, this was truly appreciated!


1st            Year 5         Tommy Wright         Diversity in Birthdays
2nd           Year 5          Oliver Mar               The importance of individuality and uniqueness
3rd           Year 5          Ayden Singh-Ali       The evolution of ethnic diversity in Auckland


Year 5      Matthew Gilbert                            It’s ok to be different
Year 6      Freddie Dryden                            The Best Birthday Party Ever
Year 6      Ben Roberton                               Diversity of Thinking
Year 6      Hamish Watson                            Te Reo Māori
Year 6      Benjamin Durose                          Diversity in Food


1st           Year 8    Lachlan Morris                 Colours
2nd          Year 8    Thomas Morrison             We Must Change
3rd         Year 8    Jacob Bethell                    Te Reo Maori


Year 7    Will McLeod                   Opening my eyes
Year 7    Toby Wigglesworth         The America’s Cup: a mockery of diversity
Year 7    Ethan Mora                    It’s a Big World
Year 7    Matthew Sawden            Money Sport and Diversity
Year 8    Hugo Janceys                 Under-rated Underdogs
Year 8    George McGuinness        Dare to Be Different
Year 8    Theo Colyer                   Then and Now
Year 8    Sebe Poole                    Oxy not so moron


Kate Laurence is the director of Head Held High, School of Confidence, along with her husband Mark. She has been teaching public speaking and Speech and Drama to people aged from 3.5 years old to adults for the last 15 years. Kate is passionate about public speaking and loves her job building the confidence, creativity and communication skills of her students.

Jeremy Wells is a well-known New Zealand television personality, most famous as the host of TVNZ's satirical news show Eating Media Lunch. He currently hosts the Radio Hauraki breakfast show and appears beside Hilary Barry on Seven Sharp. Jeremy was born in Auckland and attended Saint Kentigern Boys’ School.

Jude Dobson is a writer, director and producer, having been involved in television since 1990. These days she mainly broadcasts and creates documentary content, much if it around New Zealand and the First and Second World Wars. Jude is passionate about the art of communicating and enjoys helping people. Jude’s son attended Saint Kentigern and we were delighted to welcome her back.

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