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​​The Plain English Speaking Award (PESA)

About the Award

PESA is a public-speaking competition for students aged 15-18 years. It 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 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 go to the national final, which is held in the various states and territories on a rotational basis.

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

Registrations for the 2018 Plain English Speaking Award will open in April 2018. For more information please contact vcaa.events@edumail.vic.gov.au

State Final – VCAA Plain English Speaking Award – 26 July 2017

Congratulations to this year’s Victorian State final winner Fergus Dale from Caulfield Grammar. Fergus delivered a thoughtful speech, challenging regional Australian stereotypes and challenging country communities. He used the opportunity to ask all Australians to embrace their regional counterparts and explained why we must all acknowledge and empower regional Australia.

Runner-up was Cree Oliviera from Nossal High School whose speech ‘In defence of happy pigs’ reframed the success of reality TV in the context of Australia’s intellectual snobbery.

Fergus will now go on to compete in the National Final, which celebrate its 40th anniversary this year, and will be held in Melbourne on Monday 14 August 2017 at the NGV International.

Fergus speaking at the PESA event

Fergus Dale of Caulfield Grammar school delivering his winning speech (Photo credit: Nicole Cleary)

Cree posing with her trophy

Cree Oliviera from Nossal High School (Photo credit: Nicole Cleary)

A group of state finalists posing with Fergus holding his trophy

Victorian State Finalists (L to R): Cree Oliviera from Nossal High School, Emma Darvas from Bayside P – 12 College, Niamh Nolan from St Leonard’s College, Fergus Dale from Caulfield Grammar, Shahani Munaff from Al-Taqwa College, Anand Bharadwaj from Trinity Grammar School (Photo credit: Nicole Cleary)


2017 Victorian Finalists' speeches
Read the transcripts of students delivering their winning speeches at the PESA 2017State Final.

​​Past Participants of PESA

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