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The Public Speaking Festival was an insightful and inspiring afternoon of talks by Junior School students. From a wide range of topics, ranging from the deeply personal to the political, the festival was a demonstration of our students’ abilities in public speaking, an important skill that even many adults find daunting. It was impressive to see students as young as eight speak with clarity, passion, humour and eloquence, proving that our girls truly are "confident communicators, imaginative thinkers and informed citizens".

Music 

Music. It means something to everyone. It can be an enjoyment, a way to remember something, a way to relax, something to express yourself with. There’s music for everyone.

There are many types of music. Jazz, Rock, Pop, Classical, Rap, Opera… the list goes on. It’s like music accepts we are different. No one in this world is the same and neither is any song. An individual or group of individuals writes and works together to create a unique sound. A bunch of unique people listen to that same unique song. So, in a way, music accepts that we’re different but then makes us not so different through the song.

Now, how many of you out there actually listen to the lyrics of the song? Perhaps not all of you. But if you truly dig deep into the song, the lyrics often reveal another meaning. Songs can be about so many things. Some lyrics are about depression, grief and fears. Others joy, hope and love. Some can be interpreted in different ways. All these songs, by all these people, tell stories about what happened, not only to them but heaps of other people.

"Music can do so many things. Simply listening to a song can lift your spirit."

I remember when I was younger, when I got scared my mum would put on music in my room. Having something to listen to calmed me down. Songs can have many effects on people. The power of music is unbelievable.It can chase away anger and sadness. It can make you grateful for all that you have. It can also bring the sun back to the sky. It’s like the music speaks directly to our emotions.

So music... it means something for everyone.There’s a type for everyone. At least one person out there is listening to the same song as you. Music connects one person to many. It also holds truths. What happens to one person can and does happen to someone else. There will always be someone who can relate. Joy, grief, anger. Emotions everyone feels. There’s not one emotion someone else hasn’t felt.

Music unites us, makes sure no one is ever alone. There’s always someone else on the other side of the song. On the other side of the story, the emotion. It’s like what famous composer Leonard Bernstein once said,“Music can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable.”

Mily
Year 7

The story of Lucia

I have a story to share with you. It is a sad story. I once had a little cousin. Her name is Lucia and she has a big sister called Sofia. When Lucia was only about two months old my uncle and auntie discovered she was very unwell. She had to go directly to the hospital. She had a really bad disease.

I want to say something to all of you. We are lucky to be still standing. We are not in pain, fear or trouble. Maybe kids are going through operations or surgery for cancer, viruses or disease. Some kids don’t have their strength or power that we have. Over 25,000 little kids pass away each day.

We can all help kids in need. Every single cent or dollar that you spend at the shop could save a child’s life. My family donates to a charity that was set up after Lucia passed away. There was nothing to help her live.

The things I will always remember about Lucia are:

  1. Pink. Pink was the key colour at her funeral. The mums all wore pink nail polish.
  2. Angel wings. Everyone was handed a little clip of angel wings at the funeral.
  3. Beanie. This beanie is special in our family. I wore it when I was a baby. Sofia and my sister wore it, and then Lucia.

I am sharing this story with you to encourage you all to take care of yourselves, your family and friends. Recognise how fortunate you are. When and where possible, donate money to help others or volunteer.

Ava
Year 5

Ban balloons today

Yay, it’s my birthday and I just got some new helium filled balloons. I take them out of the plastic bag and Oh No! I forgot to close the window! 1…2…3... balloons fly out the window! I look at the balloons that haven’t gone out of the window and all of a sudden POP! POP! POP! I just bought those. That was a waste of money. They’re useless. And also, terrible for the environment. I’m never buying them again!

Hi I’m Charlotte, and I’m going to tell you why I strongly believe that balloons should be banned.

Now I know you might like colourful balloons. I liked them too. Until I found out that balloons harm and kill wildlife and sea creatures. Why do you want to risk an animal’s life? Picture the little animals fighting for life. Are you willing to do that? Picture a little fish swimming joyfully and he sees an orange popped balloon. Thinking that it’s food, he swims up to it and swallows it. Little does he know in a few days he will die.

Balloons are terrible for the environment. If you let go of a balloon outside it’s already in the wild. If this continues, in a few years our world will turn into a disgusting rubbish dump. Do you want our world to turn into a disgusting rubbish dump? I certainly don’t.

Now you might be wondering what shall you use instead of balloons? You can use bubbles. They’re great for the environment – they just pop and nothing is left. Also, balloons take up much more space than bubbles. In conclusion, we need to clean up our world and one way is not using plastic and balloons. So, at your next party, why don’t you use bubbles over balloons?

Charlotte
Year 4

Sweatshops

Close your eyes and imagine this. The sewing machine noises are ringing in your ears. No food or water for 12 hours straight. You have no seat to sit on, you’re stuck in the same spot, cuts and injuries don’t matter. You just have to keep working and deal with it. That’s the motto. Alright, open your eyes. That was horrible, wasn’t it. Well half the population of our world has to go through that every day, every hour, every second. Sweatshops are an important contribution to the world. They provide employment in many poor countries. But sweatshops have very poor, socially unacceptable working conditions. The work there is usually difficult and dangerous.

Workers are always forced to work 12 hours and are even forced to work overtime. Just imagine working for 12 hours and more, stuck in the one spot, making clothes. How horrible would that be? But even though they work so long, their salaries are extremely low. Workers in sweatshops really struggle. Some workers have kids and themselves to feed, they have electric and water bills to pay.

Workers are forced to use broken equipment, this can lead to injuries, or even worse. Injured workers aren’t taken care of, and the owners of the company couldn’t care less. There isn’t any workers’ compensation, meaning if you can’t work you won’t get paid. This causes a lot of stress on the worker and their family.

In conclusion, working conditions in sweatshops are …. horrible. Luckily for us Australians, we have different rules. If you’re injured, you would still get paid when you are recovering. Salaries are definitely higher and best of all we have a thing called Worksafe, which makes sure the workplace is a safe environment and workers are trained to use equipment and follow safety procedures at all times. Thank you for listening.

Gabriella
Year 6