Lawrence Campbell Oratory
After a hiatus of entering The Lawrence Campbell Oratory, Trinity returned to the ‘speaking podium’ on Friday 29 April with W. Taplin (11WH) participating in one of the hardest, yet most prestigious, oratory competition in the state, if not in Australia.
Held at Sydney Grammar School, thirteen speakers represented either their respective CAS or GPS organisation to present an 8-minute speech, after 15-minutes preparation, on one of three unseen topics.
Notable past winners of the Lawrence Campbell Oratory include Murray Gleeson, Nick Greiner, Nick Enright, Malcolm Turnbull, Charles Firth and Adam Spencer, to name a few. Past winners representing Trinity are: Max Wood (’91), Jeremy Bell (’98), Alexander Connolly (’15) and Max Bonnell (’79), our first winner and the lead adjudicator last Friday evening.
One of three topics for the evening was: “I have ever hated all nations, professions and communities, and all my love is towards individuals”, and reluctantly only two speakers tackled this topic. Interestingly, no speaker attempted the topic: “Some praise at morning what they blame at night, but always think the last opinion right”. All other speaking choice the topic: “There’s a crack, a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in”, and perhaps it was perceived by the majority this was the ‘easier’ topic in the night.
Taplin chose this topic and spoke intelligently and with conviction about human behaviour, particularly that of dictators and institutions ‘that have cracks.’ His clever and history-driven speech explored Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and the governments of Turkmenistan and North Korea. Taplin spoke with confidence and assurance but unfortunately, was unplaced. Many in the audience praised Taplin’s structure, intelligence and historical examples that supported his thesis.
The winner of this year’s competition, Marcus Nguyen from The Scots College, presented a well-structured speech that adhered clearly to the topic throughout. Second place was awarded to a charismatic speaker, Mathew Davies from St. Aloysius’ College, while third was given to William Ryan from St. Joseph’s College.
Special thanks also to Taplin’s family who attended, given only speakers, their family, and teachers, were able to attend due to Grammar’s COVID-19 restriction rules. I am very proud of the effort made by Taplin who took on board comments from training and implemented them on the night. He really is a fast learner, so well done, W. Taplin! Next year’s Lawrence Campbell Oratory will be held at The King’s School, North Parramatta.
Justin McGrath | Coordinator of Oratory