Thursday, February 23, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
Six local students competed in the annual Youth of the Year competition held by Proserpine Lions Club Inc. on Wednesday last week.
Proserpine State High School students Scarlett Foti, Makaela Stefani, and Hurley Diessel, St. Catherine’s Catholic College students Tristan Sainsbury, Cai Scott-Fitzgerald, and Kai Telford represented themselves and their schools in the three-stage contest.
The 16- to 17-year-old contestants face first an interview, then a panel of three judges, speaking to two impromptu questions and delivering a five-minute speech on a topic of their choice.
The Lions Australia Program is a yearly competition hosted at the various club branches across the country, inviting students to test their public speaking and interview skills.
In front of a crowd of Proserpine Lions Club members, parents, and local enthusiasts, Scarlett Foti was crowned the Overall winner as well as the Public Speaking winner for the night,
Ms Foti impressed with her speech “Imagination, No More” – A brief overview of how technology has affected imagination in children, quoting from both her own experiences in babysitting and from the great thinkers.
“Let me ask you to pause for a moment, what do you think life means? Life can be defined in so many ways,” Ms Foti said in her powerfully orated speech.
“It can be described by the classification of living things in year seven to the philosophical works of Plato… life is the ability to dream.”
Ms Foti also won the previous year’s Public Speaking award and is now expected to represent the Proserpine Lions club at the next youth of the year tier in Home Hill in March.
Proserpine Lions Youth of the Year Coordinator Jane Betteridge said she was extremely proud of each student.
“I don’t think there are many adults who would stand up and be able to give the speeches these six students did tonight,” Ms Betteridge said.
“The opportunities that it presents to them, in improving their public speaking skills, in meeting like-minded people, is invaluable.”
Previous Lions Club Youth of the Year alumni and winners have gone on to become Rhodes Scholars and even Prime Ministers.
Proserpine Lions Club Youth of the Year and Public Speaking award winner and Proserpine State High School Student Scarlett Foti with Proserpine Lions President Joe Little
Proserpine Lions Club Youth of the Year competitors from Proserpine state High School and St. Catherine’s Catholic College