The USU’s annual celebration of linguistic athletics once again produced a compellingly high standard of public speaking from a talented pool of students.
The calibre of the finalists of the Michael Kirby Plain Speaking Competition, held in the Law School last week, made it a difficult job of judging, but it was Tim Whelan who was eventually crowned champion in the open division, taking home the $1000 cash prize.
Whelan had obviously paid close attention to Michael Kirby’s address at the beginning of the night, where the former Justice and USU alumnus gave his ’10 easy rules for plain language.’
Whelan chose the topic ‘voice of reason’ for his winning speech – edging out Mitchell Liddle, who was runner-up with the top ‘the ace up your sleeve’.
Earlier, the English as a Second Language stream, introduced last year, was taken out by Sophia (Tong) Chen, who won $500 for her winning speech on the topic ‘rise and fall.’
The judging panel were impressed with the standard of the competition, taking time to deliberate their final decision.
On the panel was USU President Pat Bateman, University of Sydney Senate Fellow David Turner, Joanna Cohen, the Student Communications Manager at the University and last year’s Kirby Cup winner, Eliza Forsyth.
The patron of the competition, Michael Kirby congratulated the competitors, and said he was already looking forward to next year’s competition.