Wannon students invited to compose a Parliamentary speech

June 24, 2024 BY

Wannon federal member Dan Tehan gives his first speech in Parliament in 2010. Photo: SUPPLIED

WANNON federal member Dan Tehan has co-launched a speechwriting competition for local secondary school students in his electorate.

The “My First Speech” competition challenges students in Years 10, 11, and 12 to envision themselves as newly elected Members of the House of Representatives and to record a 90-second speech on video, focusing on a topic of their choosing.

The winning entrant from each year group, accompanied by a parent or guardian, will be flown to Canberra to deliver their speeches live at Parliament House and participate in a program tailored to deepen their understanding of the legislative process.

Mr Tehan, who has launched the initiative with Speaker of the House of Representatives Milton Dick, said it was an exciting opportunity for Wannon students to shine a national spotlight on the issues that mattered most to them.

“The students participating in this competition will be our local leaders of tomorrow, and I am excited to give them a head start on their futures with this program.”

In his first speech to Parliament on October 27, 2010, Mr Tehan, a former diplomat, spoke about the influence of his late mother, Marie Tehan, a state MP, who instilled in him the importance of working tirelessly for the community and driving reform.

“Mum firmly believed elected office was not an end in itself. It came with an obligation to work tirelessly to make your community a better place,” Mr Tehan said at the time.

He also shared lessons from his father, Jim, a farmer, who taught him the value of hard work and contributing to the family farm.

“At any opportunity he put us to work on the farm. Whether it was as a young boy driving the Landrover while he fed sheep oats from the back, sweeping the woolshed board after school during shearing time or 5am starts during summer holidays to help with dipping, we were all expected to put in.”

Mr Dick said the competition would provide secondary school students with the chance to learn more about the way our nation’s democracy works.

“And how actively engaging with the parliamentary process can draw attention to the issues that are most important to them,” he said.

For more information and inquiries about the “My First Speech” competition, email Mr Tehan’s office at [email protected] or head to aph.gov.au/myfirstspeech

Submissions must be received before the deadline of 11.59pm on July 27.

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