Year 12 Kingston Community school student Taya Harding won the Lions youth of the year award and the public speaking award last Saturday.
Robe Lions hosted the regional youth of the year final in the Robe primary school hall.
Participating candidates were judged based on their public speaking abilities. The candidates also met with the judges before the event so that they could be judged on their leadership and other citizenship qualities.
The program also highlights the importance of public speaking and preparing the candidates for the future before they eventually enroll in a higher form of education and enter their field of employment.
Each candidate had to write a prepared speech, which the panel would judge him or her on. Taya’s speech was about the millennium children.
She argued that the youth of today are the most entrepreneurial generation to date with the development of technology and social media.
When asked about why she has a passion for this subject, Taya told the Leader about what motivated her to base her speech and argument around this topic of discussion.
“I feel really passionate about this because I’ve been told that the young people of today are lazy. I got really sick of hearing that so that’s what’s stood out for me,” Taya said.
Taya also mentioned that she believes her persuasion abilities while speaking publicly got her over the line.
“While in a room with people that may have thought oppositely to me once, I believe would feel the same as me now. I think that’s what went well today, my ability to persuade.”
Dave Thomas also shared with the Leader what motivates him and the lions members to run this event every year and how beneficial and rewarding the event is for everyone involved.
“It’s great to see our young people in our communities achieving so much,” Dave said.
“They’ve learnt a lot, they’ve gained new friendships and it benefits everyone, it’s a credit to them.”
Ben Bayliss from Robe was also a special guest who gave a speech about his time overseas and going to school in Germany. He also spoke about the volunteer work he has done, his early life and his growing passion for cooking and desire to become a chef.
Ben told the leader about what those listening could take away from his speech and how they could find inspiration in some of the things that he has achieved.
“The point of my speech was about taking every opportunity and doing everything you can because you never know what it might lead to. I hope that that sticks with them and they’ll take that on.”
Ben was given an award of appreciation following his speech for all the lions work he has done over the years, particularly the hours that he has spent volunteering down at the lions op shop in Robe.