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Top Talks

Top Talks showcases exceptional oral presentations from VCE Extended Investigation students.

Selected students shared their original and rigorous independent research and findings through 8–10 minute presentations. Following the presentations, a Q&A panel discussion was held with the presenters, giving the audience an opportunity to learn more about the students' research topics and methods, as well as their experiences studying VCE Extended Investigation.

Top Talks 2020

Top Talks 2020 is held in partnership with State Library Victoria at the Conversation Quarter on Friday 14 February 2020.

The event is booked out however Top Talks can still be viewed on the day through the State Library Victoria website.

Top Talks will be live-streamed from 11am to 12.30pm on Friday 14 February 2020 on the State Library Victoria's Top Talks VCAA Live Stream webpage.

Top Talks 2020 presenters

Four VCE Extended Investigation students from 2019 were selected to present their oral presentation at Top Talks 2020:

Eliza Griffiths

Girton Grammar School, Bendigo

Topic: Fictional vs real: The male reaction to female empowerment This study asked how the fictional trajectory of Naomi Alderman’s The Power correlates to the #MeToo movement and society’s contemporary discourse on gender politics.


Xavier Dooley

Melbourne High School, South Yarra

Topic: Medical Mocktail: What are the implications of troglitazone being allowed to remain on sale in the United States despite evidence of idiosyncratic hepatotoxicity for the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), and how can the medication approval process in Australia be improved to ensure patient safety?


Jaime Watts

Beaconhills College, Berwick

Topic: How does ‘monster in narrative’ reflect humanity’s evolution?


Kameron Lai

The Mac.Robertson Girls’ High School, Melbourne

Topic: Promoting entomophagy amid a climate crisis: What are the most influential factors in promoting a more sustainable insect-based diet in young Australians?

Highlights from Top Talks 2019

Catch up with the four VCE Extended Investigation students who took part in the inaugural Top Talks. They provide insights into how Extended Investigation has helped them develop their skills and knowledge.

Highlights fromTop Talks transcript (docx - 67.65kb)

Top Talks 2019 presenters

Four VCE Extended Investigation students from 2018 were selected to present their oral presentation at the Village Roadshow Theatrette at State Library Victoria on Friday 15 February 2019.

Stephanie Barito

University High School, Parkville

Topic: How does ultraviolet irradiation (254nm) of canola seeds (Brassica napus) infected with a fungus (Leptosphaeria maculans) impact the presence of disease on the seed?

Luca Irmici

Fitzroy High School, North Fitzroy

Topic: Do East Timorese students currently studying in Melbourne think that remembering and acknowledging Timor-Leste's recent past (Indonesian occupation) plays a part in the emergence of a national identity?

Kailyn O'Connor

Mornington Secondary College, Mornington

Topic: The influence of attitudes, facility provision and informative signage on recycling behaviours. How do attitudes, facility provision and signage direct recycling behaviours in a cohort of Australian secondary school students?

Ryan Walker

Melbourne High School, South Yarra

Topic: What difference has the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) made to families of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) attempting to access therapy and what opportunities are there to further develop this scheme?

Note: Oscar Wycisk (Dromana Secondary College, Dromana) was invited to present the findings of his research question: Does an individual's perception of musical tension and resolution exist due to a mathematical principle? Oscar was unavailable to present on the day.

Selection process


Students who have completed VCE Extended Investigation are not required to submit an application for Top Talks. Participants will be selected via the Externally-assessed Task (EAT) assessment process. Participants must receive an A or an A+ for the EAT, and an exceptional mark for their oral presentation.

The selection panel ensures all presentations are considered fairly according to the criteria and cover a breadth of research topics. The VCE Season of Excellence team and other VCAA staff members have no input into which talks are selected.

Invitations to present at Top Talks will be sent to participants by email and/or post in mid-late December.

Venue information

Top Talks 2020 is at Conversation Quarter, State Library Victoria on Friday 14 February 2020, 11am–12.30pm. There will also be a Library Highlights Tour at 10–10.45am and Research Skills Seminar 1.15-2.15pm. Tickets will be available through State Library Victoria from Monday 2 December 2019.

Educational resources

Focus On… VCE Extended Investigation

Focus On… VCE Extended Investigation explores the research development and processes of former VCE Extended Investigation students selected for Top Talks. This seven-minute documentary includes interviews with students, the Chief Assessor - Oral Presentation and the VCAA Extended Investigation program manager.

Focus on ... VCE Extended Investigation (docx - 23.75kb)

Curriculum and assessment resources

Curriculum and assessment resources can be found on the Extended Investigation study page.