800 students accepted the challenge to be involved in the 2021 Rostrum Voice of Youth program.

Due to changing covid conditions the decision was made to record the Zone Finals, in case it was not possible for the finalists to meet in Adelaide for the National Final.

In early July it became apparent that with a lockdown in NSW, the in-person National Final needed to be cancelled, and planning for a Zoom final became our new focus.

The review and planning is underway for 2022 which will culuminate in the National Final in Sydney. 


JUNIOR                                                NATIONAL RVOY FINALISTS                                                  SENIOR

Catherine Park: Sydney Church of England Girls’ Grammar School, NSW

Nicole Allen: Sydney Church of England Girls’ Grammar School, NSW

Grace Gregson: St Michael’s Collegiate, Tas

Zachary Pope: Naracoorte High School, SA

Lili Azli: Concordia College, SA

Lucy Brownlie: St Andrew’s Cathedral School,  NSW

Domenico Cocco: St Gregory’s College, Campbelltown, NSW

Jack Oates Pryor: Scotch Oakburn College TAS

Group Photo RVoY 2021 image001Unfortunately, lockdowns prevented Victoria from completing their competition. NSW was invited to have four finalists due to their number of entries and there would be two from Tasmania and South Australia. 

Photos were collated from the heats and finals and a PowerPoint was prepared. Adjudicators were selected from the participating zones and the speech recordings were uploaded to YouTube for viewing by the adjudicators. One minute from the prepared speeches was extracted along with 30 seconds from the short notice speech recordings to create a speech compilation for the presentation. 100 invitations were forwarded to finalists, parents, family members, teachers, adjudicators and Rostrum members.

Einer Herringe, the National Final Convenor prepared his script, a running sheet was finalised and on Saturday 31st of July, the National Final presentation was underway.

Although we would have all preferred to be in Adelaide for the weekend of activities that had been prepared by Einer and his team, Rostrum members rallied and provided the students with an opportunity that would have otherwise been lost to Covid.

A parent acknowledged our efforts in his email:

A quick note of thanks for the effort you each went to, to run a wrap-up VOY event when given the multitude of hurdles facing you it would have been all-too-easy to cancel it altogether. I imagine lots of calls and stress were involved bringing it all together!

I am hugely mindful of the corrosive effect this horrid virus is having on the mental health of our youth and ‘another’ cancelled event would have been yet another bit of gloomy news in an otherwise gloomy world.

The fact the event occurred as it did, and the work involved in the background beforehand, is testament to your persistence and a great example to our youth members that Covid doesn’t have to bring everything to a crashing halt - an important and sustaining message.

In the words of one of the participating finalists:

Rostrum VOY has made a huge impact on the last three years of my life and has helped mould me into the person I am today, bettering my public speaking, giving me the chance to reflect on my own views and values, and the opportunity to encourage action and foster moral living in others and in myself…
I feel incredibly grateful that the contestants were, through the team’s organisation and work, able to still have the opportunity of a digital final this year. Thank you also for helping organise an informal chat prior to the program…’ Jack Oates Pryor

We congratulate our two National winners, Lily and Lucy. All finalists receive a medallion, prize money, certificate and some gifts in recognition of their efforts in what has been an extraordinary year.

Rostrum Voice of Youth is so rewarding – our Rostrum volunteers have impacted on 800 young lives this year and provided them with an opportunity to have their voices heard, at a time when communication is even more important. Thank you to all those who helped to make a difference. The coordinators have appreciated the assistance of National President, Jenny Blain for her leadership and support. I have certainly appreciated the cohesive group of coordinators who have worked so effectively together to inspire the next generation of speakers.

The review and planning is underway for 2022 which will culminate in the National Final in Sydney.

If you have the opportunity, OPT IN to BE INVOLVED in Rostrum Voice of Youth in what could prove to be one of your most rewarding Rostrum activities. For the zones which did not participate in 2021, please be assured that the national group is prepared to assist in anyway possible to restart RVOY in your zone.

We also understand that the size of the competition may need to be reduced to match the number of volunteers you have available. RVOY remains a wonderful tool for improving the profile of Rostrum.

RVoY Image Logo image002Jenny Fraser
(National Coordinator of Rostrum Voice of Youth)

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