The Thistle - An E-Newsletter of Scotch College, Perth, Western Australia


'He who wants to persuade should put his trust not in the right argument but in the right word. The power of sound has always been greater than the power of sense.'

The history of oration goes back some millennia. It was in ancient Greece that speech was raised to an art and true oratory was born. As the Roman empire expanded, oratory also grew and thrived in the courts and the senate.

Oratory is not merely speaking but speech that appeals to our noblest sentiments and makes our souls stir passionate emotions and inspires virtuous action.

'They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.'   Carl W. Buechner

Finding these skills in children as young as Year 5 is a rare thing but on Wednesday 12 June the Junior School was blessed as they sat and listened to eight outstanding speeches delivered by a group of boys who are only 11 years old. The boys drafted their speeches, knowing that they had to deliver them not only to the people in their class but, if they were successful in that forum, to the entire Junior School. They did so with great style. They were able to take the audience on their own personal journeys, making them laugh and think, and their speeches were presented with a confidence well beyond their years.

Each year the Junior School runs the Speakers' Challenge event and each year the quality of the speeches seems to improve. The boys' ability to capture the audience's attention, to engage them in their topics and to speak eloquently about what they have written in an honest and earnest manner was breath-taking to see.

Last Wednesday, our adjudicators had a very challenging task to choose three boys to represent our school in the IPSHA Inter-School Speakers' Challenge, which is hosted by Scotch College. A task we do not envy. Well done to our three finalists: Hamish Byass (1st place) for his speech on 'How to give a speech'; Harry Nicholls (2nd place) for his speech titled 'The 1950's'; and William Macknay (3rd place) about the eternal debate 'Big Mac v Whopper'. These boys will be representing Scotch College in an event that involves 18 other IPSHA schools.

Congratulations to all the boys involved in our recent Junior School competition:

      Cooper Royle (5C)                 Quidditch

      Alexander Griffin (5L)            How to become a superhero

      Luke Schauffler (5L)               Why don't woodpeckers get concussion?

      Thomas Lovegrove (5L)          Do we need music for our education?

      Leon Hugo (5W)                    Why to become a pirate?

      Daniel Weustink (5W)            How to break out of your own home