Speakeasy – From A Distance!

September 30, 2021 at 1:41 PM

With thanks to Head of English Faculty, Ms JoAnn Wordsworth

The 2021 Saint Kentigern SpeakEasy has, once again, been amazing, maybe not as ‘easy’ as we had originally planned, but unique and inspiring as always!

 As with so many events planned for Term 3, the annual speech competition, that invites entries from each of our Saint Kentigern schools, moved from a live event to a recorded one, with videos submitted for judging online.

Our judge, Old Collegian and current NewsHub Late reporter, Lauren Hendricksen, found the competition a challenge to judge, such were the quality of the entries!

During the earlier auditions and in the finals, issues and ideas echoed across the students’ speeches: concerns about identity, thinking about the world they are growing up in, as well as the tensions caused by bias and judgement based on culture, gender and age.  It was a privilege to hear students from Year 7 to Year 13 step up to share their thoughts and fears. Some lines from speeches in the audition and the finals curled their way into memory – as Xarya Knox poetically recognised, that as we grow we ‘are not the lesser, nor the greater’ – as she reflected on life and our place in the world.  Imogen Perry challenged us all to ‘raise our standards’ and to ‘stop wrapping (our future generations) in the remnants of prejudice’. 

Emma Wang asked us to ‘stop allowing fear to control our lives’ and Oliver Shaw took us on a journey into a world where we faced ‘the age of machine learning. There were lines that caught at our hearts, with Jashil Rana recognising how ‘after she has a child, a mother’s heart is not her own’, and Irene Wang helped us hear the worries of our students as they proclaim that ‘the world only sees (people) through the lens (we) have developed for (them)’.  Emily Cornaga, Tiana Gray and Anamia Tiori Rongonui Rangihaeata each advocated for the world to recognise it is time for change, empathy and recognition of individuals, now it is ‘my time’.  Each student’s voice was thought-provoking and personal.   

In a world where people are bombarded with messages through television, social media, and the Internet, one of the first questions you may ask is, ‘Do people still give speeches? Is public speaking still a necessary skill?’  I would, without a doubt, answer yes. This event is a celebration of those who love the excitement and adrenaline of public speaking, and recognise the value of what they want to say to the world.  We hope our students will continue to embrace it and become confident speakers and presenters – and to inspire others.   

We should recognise the efforts of the finalists who have written and presented their speeches in a less than ideal situation.  I know the students will have been supported behind the scenes at home, so thank you to the families involved in this production.   Thank you to Ms Rowe at the College, as well as Mrs Louise Miles and Mrs Judy Norton, from the Boys’ School and Girls’ School respectively who have been positive and encouraging across this process.

Given the technical demands of producing this off site, our particular thanks go to Year 13 Media Studies student, Cameron Hatton, who edited, rendered and exported the project into its final production for online viewing – these have been split to two videos: Middle School and Senior School.

Middle School winner:                               Jaime Chandler                 ‘Drop the Act’
Year 7/8 Future Talent winner:                Tim Bacchus                      ‘The Four rules of Kindergarten’
Honourable mentions:                                Tiana Gray, Sam Mcleod, Nora Caffery, Lachlan Morris 

Senior School Winner:                                 Jashil Rana         ‘Time’
Honourable mentions:                                Catalina Addis, Irene Wang


Click here to view the Middle School SpeakEasy competition online.
Click here to view the Senior School SpeakEasy competition online.


Jaime Chandler

Drop the Act

Sam McLeod

Is it just a game?

Amelia Evangelidakis

We need to put a stop to bullying

Oliver Shaw

The Age of Machine Learning

Tiana Gray

I am Diversity

Emily Cornaga

Disability Discrimination

Sean Trombitas

Old Father Time

Nora Caffery


Tim Bacchus

The four rules of Kindergarten

Poppy Heazlewood

Don’t judge a book by its cover

Jacob Bethell

Reo Maori -Me pēhea tā mātou whakapai ake me te āwhina

Ada Hu

China through Western eyes

Lachlan Morris


Xarya Knox

Autumn Acorn

Anamia Tiori Rongonui Rangihaeata 

Writing history



Jashil Rana


Alissa Huang

A Racially United NZ

Ethan Liu

To waste your time

Jack Buckingham

Selflessness is selfish

Irene Wang

The perfect model minority

Catalina Addis

Public Cervix Announcement

Leticia Liang

Teenage dream


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