Hastings school students have shown their high quality public speaking skills after completing the Tacking Point Lions Club Youth of the Year Quest for 2019.
Six students ran the gauntlet of two impromptu questions and a five minute prepared speech during the public speaking dinner at Port City Bowling Club on November 20.
They also completed a series of questions asked by a panel of independent judges at the Port Macquarie Golf Club on November 17.
The winning Club Final awards were presented to Kingslee Marks of Port Macquarie, Cameron Lloyd of Wauchope and Phoenix Nincsics of Lake Cathie.
"The process has given me a good opportunity to reflect on my successes and things I want to improve on for the coming year," said Ms Marks.
"I was nervous at first but everyone was really nice and the questions were really directed at my age group. The whole process is a good experience.
"My plans are to take something from this in terms of leadership skills and my public speaking."
Public speaking commendations were awarded to Phoebe Germanos of Wauchope and Brodie Knott of Port Macquarie. Liam Halmi received a certificate for his completion of the Youth of the Year Quest.
Ms Germanos produced one of the many outstanding speeches on the night. Her speech discussed the journey of her father, John Germanos through civil war in the Middle East to Australia.
"I talked about the Lebanese civil war because that connected to me and my dad. I got to learn a lot about my dad because I'd never known about his background," she said.
"It allowed me to get in touch with what his life was like during the war, things that I never really knew about."
Competition speeches were assessed and scored by a judging panel of Heather Mayne, Dee Watkinson, Ruth Killen, Robert Dougherty and chief judge, John Channon.
Club Final winners will now continue on to the next stage of competition, said local youth of the year chair Mal Murray.
"After the completion of the club youth of the year we now have three contenders representing Wauchope Lions, Lake Cathie Lions and Tacking Point Lions," he said.
"The three representatives will go down to compete in the Forster, Taree zone at the regional youth of the year quest on March 14. There they will do more interviews and public speaking.
"This is a great opportunity for young people to gain skills, knowledge and experience that will give them confidence so that when they do leave school they are able to move in the direction they want to go.
"For the Lions Club we don't just serve sausages, we serve the community and get satisfaction from helping other people."
Each state winner and their school receives a prize of $1000, a $5000 prize is awarded to the national overall winner and the national public speaking winner receives $5000.
All national finalists also attend the Lions International Youth Camp in New Zealand.
Tacking Point lions club appreciates the support of sponsors Port Macquarie Carwash, Hastings District Flying Club, Pets Park Boarding Kennels & Cattery and Munster Street Butchery.