My speech in Wagga Wagga for the Take Charge Youth Leadership forum

Figure: Here is my ‘1 minute remix’ of the Take Charge event

Late last year, in 2014, I did my first keynote speech! In fact, it was my first speech outside of school. I’ve put together a ‘1 minute remix’ video, a shortened version of the official video. I think the camera men took great footage.

The event organisers of the annual Take Charge Riverina Youth Forum, run by Riverina Eastern Regional Organisation of Councils (REROC), asked me to tell my story of how a young girl can make a difference.

I agreed to tell my story of how I worked to have Dr David Warren recognised for his Black Box invention. I was to speak alongside the famous environmentalist, Tim Silverwood and local hero Emma Byrne (Wagga Wagga Young Citizen of the Year 2009 and former chair of the NSW Government Youth Advisory Council). My audience was to be about 150 kids with leadership potential. They pick a few students from schools in the Riverina area (in central NSW).

For the weeks preceding the event, I was very excited about speaking at this great event. My speech was to be 20 minutes and I had over a month to prepare. Although I was excited at the prospect of being a guest speaker, I was also worried. What if I didn’t find enough time to prepare between studying for exams… what if I forgot what I was saying or what if the kids couldn’t relate to my story?

D10443991_761395610585277_5842449110737205753_nad agreed to chaperone me to Wagga Wagga. As the day drew closer I began to improve and finalise my speech. As usual Dad was late to the airport, but somehow we managed to make our QantasLink flight. This was the first time I had been on a plane with a propeller. As our rickety Dash 8 departed from Sydney, headed to Wagga Wagga, I began to practise my speech for the final time as the roar of the propellers filled the cabin. We arrived and were picked up by Kylie Dunstan, the event organiser.


The next morning I was up bright and early and we arrived at Charles Sturt University, the location of the forum, about an hour before the students. I was the first speaker of the day and shaking with nervousness! As the hall began to fill, I felt my heart beating. Thankfully, once I started to speak, the nerves died down to a steady flow of adrenalin. Everything went well, except… I asked my dad to play a few videos on my signal, but they kept buffering and stopping! Thanks Dad – lucky he is an IT guy ;-)



After my speech, Tim and Emma gave inspirational talks. I did a TV interview for WIN TV news, then it was eating snacks, dancing with hula hoops, workshops and the day ended with question time. It truly was a great day for me and all the participants.


The Dinner

The day finished with a fancy formal dinner with many VIPs including government politicians. The dinner was held at a beautiful location with food, drinks and speeches to match. I learnt that these politicians come together because they know they can do more as a unit, then they can individually. REROC allows country politicans to better fight against city politicans for valuable resources. It was a night to remember for sure!

Here are some of the VIPs I met:

  • John Seymour, Mayor for Coolamon
  • Abb McAlister, Mayor for Gundagai
  • Greg Aplin, Australian politician, MP for Albury
  • Daryl Maguire, Australian politician, MP for Wagga Wagga
  • Julie Briggs, CEO of Riverina Eastern Regional Organisation of Councils

Here is the REROC blog about the event

Here are some photos from the day

To all the people who made it possible, a huge congratulations is well due!

My full 20 minute talk is coming soon…