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Antonio de Montesinos Public Speaking Award

On Wednesday, 5 September, Siena again staged our annual competition for public speaking. The event is named in honour of a Dominican friar, Antonio de Montesinos, who lived five centuries ago. Appalled at the cruel enslavement of indigenous people in the place we now know as Haiti and the Dominican Republic, Antonio delivered a famous sermon in which he sharply criticised Spanish colonists and slave traders. Eventually, he managed to persuade King Ferdinand of Spain that slavery is wrong and consequently, the first ever documents designed to protect indigenous people came into being. Antonio de Montesinos changed the course of history by bravely speaking his truth.

This year, four students also showed bravery by participating in this challenging competition. They were Ella Frausing (Year 12), Jade Devlin (Year 11), Amanda Marasco (Year 9) and Micayla Victor (Year 7).  The girls spoke with conviction on their selected topics, which were required to show a connection to our College theme for 2018: 'One Body, Many Parts'. The students were also required to make an impromptu speech on a topic given to them just five minutes beforehand. 

At the conclusion of the competition, audience members commented very positively on the impressively high standard set by the speakers and the way in which each student approached their speeches. Certainly, the adjudicators had difficulty in reaching their decisions regarding to whom presentation of the trophy and encouragement award medal would be made. At the final tally, only a handful of points separated the four girls. 

After very careful deliberation by the adjudicators, Jade Devlin was announced as the winner of the 2018 Antonio de Montesinos Award. Amanda Marasco received the Encouragement Award. 

Jade will recite her winning speech at the next school assembly. It will also be reproduced in the 2018 Siena College Yearbook.

Public speaking is alive and well at Siena College!


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