NAIDOC Debating and Public Speaking Challenge

Griffith High School was this year’s host of the Riverina NAIDOC debating and public speaking challenge. Over 30 Primary Schools and High Schools within the Riverina were invited to participate in the challenge with the Theme Songlines: The Living Narrative of our Nation.

The main focus of the challenge was to support Indigenous and non-Indigenous students in developing their skills in research, goal-setting, organisation and oral presentation. It also increased the participant’s knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures in a localised context.

Two weeks prior to the challenge several schools took part in a workshop conducted by Tony Davey from the Department of Education Arts Unit. Tony worked with the students on formulating and prioritising arguments, roles of each speaker in debating, rebuttals, how to write and deliver a speech and lastly The WOW factors when speaking.

The challenge was held on the 10th of June with four Primary Schools; Griffith Public School, Griffith East Public School, Griffith North Public School and Darlington Point Public School participating in the Public Speaking Challenge. Each school team consisted of two students, one being Indigenous and one non Indigenous. All teams spoke for around four minutes on the NAIDOC Theme Songlines: The living Narrative of our Nation. Piper Stewart and Abbey Noffke from Griffith North Public School were announced the winners by the adjudicators Tony Davey and Matthew Daniels, Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer. The Griffith North Team along with the Griffith High Schools Debating team consisting of Kira Hart, Georgia Hart, Teagan Cirillo and Angeline Ioane will now move through to the next round which will be held in Albury in August.

Thank you to Mr Keith Wells and GHS Year 12 Timber class for making the prizes for the winning teams. Each winning student received a pen made from a Banksia nut and the winning schools received a clock made from local Cooba wattle.

Thank you also to Mr Lane and GHS senior Hospitality Class for catering the workshop and the challenge day.


Story contributed by Allison Stewart from Griffith High School. Published in 2016.