Harnessing the power of speech - Telethon Speech & Hearing

Harnessing the power of speech

No fewer than 30 Outpost students, representing nine partner schools, bravely addressed a packed auditorium filled with peers, families, friends, teachers and VIPs on Saturday 9 September in TSH’s 34th annual Power of Speech Awards.

Power of Speech highlights the remarkable progress made by our students over the year and celebrates the amazing outcomes that can be achieved by children with hearing loss. Students from Year 1 to Year 6 courageously presented their prepared speeches to the live audience, with topics ranging from ‘Jawesome Bull Sharks’ to ‘My 103/8-year-old Grandmother’.

Students put countless hours of preparation into their speeches, and it showed as they dazzled with their fine presentation skills, producing plenty of laughs, tears and proud parents and teachers.

In preparation, each student spends time writing and practicing their speeches with TSH’s teachers of the deaf and education assistants throughout the term. They learn about a range of aspects related to preparing speeches, including using humour to engage the audience and dealing with their nerves. Students also develop their spoken language skills to include new vocabulary and concepts.

Geof Parry, senior news reporter for Channel 7, and Andrea Burns, postgraduate lecturer at Edith Cowan University, were outstanding as masters of ceremonies and kept the event running smoothly.

Judges David Price (Certified Speaking Professional), Cathy O’Leary (Editor of Medical Forum Magazine) and Kevin Brown (Group CEO of St John WA) had the unenviable task of selecting the winners. Ultimately, they felt that Orlando Castiglione (Category 1) and Emily Siew (Category 2) were worthy of the awards.

Eleanor Whitby received the Mary Shurman Most Improved Award, while Lucy Muirden (Year 1) was presented with the Geoff Reader Encouragement Award.

Orlando, a Year 6 student at Newman College, spoke passionately about his experience of growing up as a person with hearing loss. He highlighted the many layers of support he has received over his journey and received a rousing round of applause for his efforts.

Emily, who is in Year 4 at Newman College and was a Little Telethon Star last year, paid tribute to her late great grandmother, who lived to the remarkable age of 103.

Telethon Speech & Hearing would like to thank TechPlus Live for providing professional lighting, sound and videography. Additionally, we received much valued support from Allmark & Associates (trophies and the participation medals), Luke Riley (photographs), K7 (cleaning services) and Officeworks Subiaco and Osborne Park (prizes).

Thanks also to our incredible Outpost team of teachers, education assistants, notetakers and support staff, including occupational therapists, speech pathologists, psychologist and audiologists, who have all put in many hours to pull this event together. Our marketing team worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure everything was in order.

Essentially it was a great team effort to make sure that the real stars of the day were our wonderfully brave Outpost students.



2023 Power of Speech Winners
Geoff Reader Encouragement Award
Lucy Muirden, Harry Potter

Category 2 Award
Emily Siew, My 103/8-year-old Great Grandmother

Category 1 Award
Orlando Castiglione, This is me

Mary Shurman Most Improved Award
Eleanor Whitby, A Typical day at school