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Updated: Jun 4, 2020

Back: Jeremy McKenzie. From left: Peter Rosevear, Michael Pulis and Martin Hill.

Peter Rosevear, Michael Pulis, and Martin Hill joined 7 other contestants around New Zealand to compete in the Rotary Best Speaker Awards in Wellington earlier this year.

The theme ‘My Hero’ was celebrated with a wide array of heroes ranging from Superman to Freddy Mercury. All of the speeches provoked emotions and touched the hearts of those who attended.

Peter, Michael, Martin all attended our Speech Writing class run through our Navigation programme here at Pou Whakaaro. As well as having the chance to participate in the competition, students also gained confidence, speaking skills and even made some new friends. Volunteers from everwhere offered to help. We had a fantastic group of students from Trident High School volunteer their time and help with topics and aspects of speech writing.

The class put on an afternoon tea for the helpers and gave everyone a final presentation of their speech before they headed off to Wellington. All of the staff at Pou Whakaaro took the opportunity to see the final presentations. "They have all worked so hard, and it is great to see them speak confidently in public about their heroes." “It was so nice to see Peter, who is normally shy, come to life with confidence. It was like seeing a different person,” said one staff member. Jeremy McKenzie, as last year's speech winner, offered his experience to the class.

“Jeremy did such a fantastic job in mentoring our students that we asked him to write a motivational speech to present at the speech competition,” said Shellie. Jeremy’s speech in Wellington was a winner with the crowd.

"Being a part of the Rotary Best Speaker Awards in Wellington was an exciting and wonderful experience for the guys, said mother Tracey Meikle, "they enjoyed seeing the sights and trying new food."

The trip to Wellington was funded by a Te Pou leadership grant, available to support disabled people and whanau take part in leadership development activities.

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