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The VCAA Plain English Speaking Award in Victoria

2014 State Final

Congratulations to James Macaronas from St Kevin’s College, winner of the 2014 Plain English Speaking Award in Victoria.

James delivered a thought-provoking presentation on ‘Freedom of Speech.’ He will now represent Victoria in the national final in Adelaide on Monday 11 August 2014.

The 2014 runner up, Fergus McLaren from Ballarat Clarendon College, gave an inspiring speech entitled ‘Dream the Impossible’.

Congratulations to all of Victoria’s state finalists including Kate Garrow, Sean Hollis, Laura McArthur, and Emma Wiggins.

All six state finalists demonstrated outstanding skill in oral communication, speech writing and research.

Winner of the 2014 Victorian Plain English Speaking Award, James Macaronas, St Kevin's College


Back row L-R: Laura McArthur, Emma Wiggins, Fergus McLaren,
Australia-Britain Society of Victoria President Mr Andrew Hilton ​, Kate Garrow, Sean Hollis.
Front row L-R: St Kevin’s College Senior English teacher Mr Thomas Lane, James Macaronas,
Parliamentary Secretary for Education, Mr Clem Newton-Brown MP


Fergus McLaren,
Ballarat Clarendon College

Kate Garrow,
St Leonard's College

Sean Hollis,
St Bede's College


Laura McArthur,
Methodist Ladies' College

Emma Wiggins,
Toorak College


Read the 2014 Victorian Finalists' speeches


About the Award

The Plain English Speaking Award (PESA) is a public speaking competition for students aged 15-18 years. PESA provides an excellent opportunity for students to build self-confidence and extend their skills in oral communication, speech writing and research.

The competition encourages students from government, Catholic and independent schools are to speak to their peers from other schools on topics they are passionate about.

In Australia each year state and territory committees organise and conduct competitions at school, regional and state levels. State winners then to go the national final, which is held in the various states and territories on a rotational basis. This year, the national final will be held in Adelaide on Monday 11 August 2014.

In Victoria, PESA is organised and conducted by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA). The Australia-Britain Society generously sponsor the Award.

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Last Update: 06 August 2014