SHOWING great promise as leaders of the future, two local students vied last Wednesday evening to be Toora Lions Club’s representative in the Lions Youth of the Year quest.
Zoi Banikos was ultimately successful and will represent Toora Lions in the Youth of the Year quest at zone level at Korumburra in November. Courtney Smith took out the Public Speaker Award.
Both girls are in Year 11 at South Gippsland Secondary College.
Participation in the quest involved the students being interviewed by a panel of three judges, distinguished members of the local community including Margaret Haycroft (chair), Bill Fuller and Ros Wathen. They allocated points according to the students’ leadership, sporting, cultural and community interests, personality, general knowledge and academic record, whilst a public speaking component – in front of an audience of 30 or so people at the college on Wednesday evening – accounted for twenty per cent of the final scores.
Courtney and Zoi were required to answer a couple of impromptu questions on current issues and then deliver a five-minute prepared speech each.
The impromptu questions were: ‘How would you decide in what order the miners in Chile were brought to the surface?’ and ‘Do you think alcohol should be supplied at parties to young people under the age of 18 years?’
Courtney then delivered her prepared talk on climate change and Zoi gave a talk on the pros and cons of nuclear energy and uranium mining.
Chair of the judging panel Margaret Haycroft said that she and her fellow judges were very impressed with the calibre of the entrants and found it very difficult to separate them on points.
She expressed her hope that the experience of being in the quest would prove to be of some help to the girls in the future.
Glenda Paragreen, who coordinates the Lions Youth of the Year Quest at club level, gratefully acknowledged the contribution of the long-time quest sponsor, the National Australia Bank (NAB).
She also thanked college principal Cheryl Glowrey for encouraging students to participate and stressed what a worthwhile experience it was for young people.
“The aim of the quest is to give our youth additional opportunities and experience outside the school environment, that is, in leadership, self confidence and the opportunity to meet and interact with other students and participants in the quest,” she said. “It also gives our youth the opportunity to travel, not to mention a worthwhile addition to their resume. Students who have entered the quest in the past are better equipped in public speaking and gain further self confidence and it affords them good experience in interview techniques.”