SpeakEasy 2020 – Lockdown Edition

September 11, 2020 at 12:20 PM

Like so many events during 2020, the staging of SpeakEasy was not without its challenges! This annual speech competition, hosted by the College, showcases talented speakers from each of our three schools, in a competition split into two age groups: Years 7-10 and Years 11-13.

When students were invited to register their interest this year, there was an amazing response from candidates who were keen to present at what was intended to be a shared evening in the Goodfellow Centre with family and friends in attendance – however, the restrictions around gatherings in Auckland under Alert Level 2 put paid to that! 

To ensure the students still had a chance to share their speeches, all the performances were pre-recorded. Organiser, College Head of English Faculty, Ms JoAnn Wordsworth said, ‘It is much harder to perform to a camera lens, rather than a live audience - as I found out myself when filming the introduction! It was a new experience for all of us! What was interesting for me watching the videos was the maturity and nuanced approach we heard from each of the students, also recognised by the judge.’

Our judge this year was Old Collegian, James Dalton who graduated from the College in 2013. He currently works as a criminal defence lawyer with the North Shore Public Defence service and uses his public speaking skills every day to advocate for people charged with crimes to ensure they receive the best possible outcome given their circumstances.

James watched all the performances online, hearing speeches ranging from racism, to expectations, to our future goals and where they fit in the world from a range of student perspectives. Each made for engaging viewing and he faced a real challenge of picking a winner from each age group.

In the Year 7-10 group, Amelia Evangelidakis was chosen as the winner for her speech, ‘Why everyone can achieve their dreams.’ In the Year 11-13 section, Charlotte Cornwall won with ‘Deadly Serious.’ Each year, a ‘Future Talent’ award is given and this year it went to Boys’ School Year 7 student, Sebe Pool for ‘Perception versus Reality.’

This has been a most unusual year for everyone and as our students have proved time and time again, following their experiences through the lockdowns, they have grown more resilient to change and are quickly ready to adapt just as they did for this year’s SpeakEasy!

Our sincere thanks to our growing online audience for your support and to staff members, Ms JoAnn Wordsworth, Ms Jodie Rowe, Mrs Judy Norton, Mr Chris Topp and Mr Luke Oliver who helped make this event possible. In particular, our sincere thanks to our judge, James Dalton.

To watch the event and the Judge’s comments, click here:
Speak Easy 2020:
Judge’s Decision:

Click here to view the gallery.

Amelia Evangelidakis - Why everyone can achieve their dreams - Year 8

Sebe Poole - Perception versus Reality -Year 7

Sam McLeod - Entertainment - Year 9
Julia Huang - The dandelion in the daisy field - Year 10
Seth Mellis-Glynn - Animals in the workplace - Year 8
Charlie Bain - Why laughter makes the world a better place - Year 8
Jade Nomani - I’d rather be there than here - Year 10
Ari Taylor - Why I appreciate school so much more - Year 8
Jamie Hilliam - I am in Fear - Year 10
Orlando Ye - Style - Year 10
Ethan Liu  - White, Black, Yellow, Brown - Year 10
Nora Caffery - Who am I meant to be? - Year 8
Leticia Liang - 2020 - Year 10
Xarya Knox - What’s stopping us? - Year 9
Ada Hu - Me - Year 8

Charlotte Cornwall - Dead serious - Year 12
Danielle Mayer - Superheroes - Year 12
Addie Peebles - Embrace the Suck - Year 12
Irene Wang - Dear Fear - Year 11
Harry Lowe - Be BOLD - Year 12
Alissa Huang - Stubbed out - Year 11

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