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Lawrence Campbell Competition takes oratory to a whole new level

Posted 15th May 2018

It is a truth universally acknowledged that one of the biggest fears people hold is having to speaking in public. Even if they are reading from a well-prepared speech that has been rehearsed a number of times.

So imagine having only 15 minutes to come up with an eight-minute speech to be delivered to an auditorium full of people you don’t know.

Such was the situation for Owen Chandler who represented TAS magnificently on 11 May at the GPS/CAS Lawrence Campbell Oratory Competition, this year hosted by Trinity Grammar School. For almost 70 years the best speakers from GPS and CAS schools have taken part in this prestigious competition, whose past winners include Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, television personalities Adam Spencer, Andrew O’Keefe and The Chaser’s Charles Firth, and various former State premiers and judges.

Only once before in the past 20 years has TAS participated in this competition, in which speakers choose one of three topics and then have 15 minutes to prepare an eight minute speech with no research resources available. This year’s topics, taken from literature and music, were ‘On the sunny side of the street’, ‘It is a truth universally acknowledged’, and ‘Not with a bang but a whimper’. Owen chose the latter, encouraging the audience to imagine the end of the world and urged action against climate change.

While Owen was unplaced his speech was well received but adjudicators and an appreciate audience. It was a wonderful opportunity for Owen and TAS to be involved after such a long hiatus, and we look forward to being part of the competition again in the future.