MEDIA RELEASE: Students encouraged to enter Federal Parliament speech competition

MEDIA RELEASE: Students encouraged to enter Federal Parliament speech competition Main Image

01 July 2024

As a mum of four fighting to save the Nowra Swimming Pool, Federal Member for Gilmore Fiona Phillips dived into the world of politics, and now she is encouraging local students to speak up about the things that ignite their passion.

In 2009, Mrs Phillips took up the fight and 10 years ago the Save Nowra Pool Group was successful in its campaign to have the $7 million Nowra Aquatic Centre built.

“Fighting to save the pool really opened my eyes to how elected representatives had the power to make decisions that can impact our communities,” she said.

“I was also a TAFE Teacher and saw that students needed more support. As a mum, I decided that I needed to stand up and support the community that had supported me my whole life.”

Mrs Phillips said she was very proud in her role as the local federal MP to be able to help people and make a real difference in a lot of people’s lives.

“I love supporting community organisations. I love being able to shape policies, services and infrastructure that will help our communities into the future,” she added.

Gilmore school students in years 10, 11 and 12 now have an opportunity to follow in Mrs Phillips’ footsteps by entering the exciting national My First Speech competition that will give our next generation of community leaders a chance to have a say in national parliament.

“This is an opportunity for local young people to raise what’s really important to them on the national stage in the Australian Parliament. This is their voice,” Mrs Phillips said.

“I really encourage local students to enter and can’t wait to see the winners speaking in parliament.”

This competition will provide the opportunity for a student from each year group to be flown to Canberra with a parent or guardian to present their speeches live and undertake a program at Parliament House.

Students are asked to consider what they would say if they were a newly elected Member of the House of Representatives and record themselves presenting the speech on video.

“I really hope our wonderful young leaders in Gilmore will take up this opportunity and I’m happy to offer tips and advice,” Mrs Phillips added.

A website has been established for the competition at:

Entries for the competition close at 11.59pm AEST 27 July 2024.


Photo: Federal Member for Gilmore Fiona Phillips on the front page of the South Coast Register in 2009 during the campaign to save the Nowra Pool.



1 July, 2024

MEDIA CONTACT: Katrina Condie 0437 662 967