Rostrum has been running a Primary Schools Speaking Competition for 50 years for schools in the ACT and surrounding areas of New South Wales. Each school is invited to enter one competitor into the competition after running a selection process in their own school.

School Finals are held at each participating school at a time and date of their choosing. School Finals shall select a Winner and Reserve. (The Reserve is needed in case the Winner is unable to attend the Quarter Final).

The Quarter and Semi Finals are held in the evening at a host school. Topics for the Quarter and Semi Finals are provided by Rostrum. Each student speaks for 3 minutes with a warning bell at 2 minutes. Rostrum adjudicators will assess each speech and determine the Winner and Runner Up, both of whom will proceed to the next round.

The Grand Final is held at a prestigious local venue, usually 3 to 4 weeks after the last semi-final. Topics for the Grand Final are different to the earlier rounds, and each finalist speaks for 4 minutes. The Warren Hine trophy is awarded to the winning speaker as determined by the Rostrum adjudicators, whilst in recent years a People's Choice trophy has been also awarded and is decided by vote of the audience.    

All competitors at the Quarter Final, Semi-Final, and Grand Final receive a certificate. The Grand Final winner and runner up receive medallions and trophies, and the winning school will receive the Perpetual Shield to hold for the next year.

For further details please contact the competition coordinator by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Speech Topics

Speech topics for the 2022 competition are as follows:


Being organised


Every little bit helps

My least favourite thing

Paying it forward

The right note


What next?


Competition Update

The 2022 Quarter Finals have now been held. Rostrum would like to thank the following schools for hosting a quarter final in 2022:

Arawang Primary School

Canberra Grammar School, Red Hill

Charles Weston School, Coombs

Harrison School

Kingsford Smith School, Holt

Lyneham Primary School

Neville Bonner Primary School

St Anthony's Parish Primary School

St Bede's Primary School, Red Hill

Theodore Primary School

Turner School


Speakers from the following schools have progressed to the semi finals:

Boorowa Central School

Charles Weston School, Coombs

Good Shepherd, Amaroo

Hawker Primary School

Holy Family, Gowrie

Kaleen Primary School

Kingsford Smith School, Holt

Lyneham Primary School

Marist College, Pearce

Miles Franklin Primary School, Evatt

Monash Primary School

Mother Teresa School, Harrison

Mount Rogers Primary School, Melba

Mt Carmel School

Ngunnawal Primary School

North Ainslie Primary School

Radford College

Sacred Heart Primary School, Pearce

Snowy Mountains Christian School

Snowy Mountains Grammar School

St Bede's Primary School, Red Hill

St Clare of Assisi School, Conder

St John the Apostle, Florey

St Jude's, Holder

St Thomas Aquinas Primary, Charnwood

St Thomas More Primary, Campbell

Taylor Primary School, Kambah

Telopea Park School


Dates and venues for the semi finals will be posted when they are known.     


Further Details

Need more information?

Hints for Students

Guidelines for Teachers and Parents

Guidelines for hosting Rostrum quarter finals and semi-finals


Grand Final 2022

This year the Grand Final will be held at Canberra College, Phillip.



The picture below was taken after last year's Grand Final and shows from left to right Leo, 2021 winner of Warren Hine Winner Trophy and the Ken Fry Trophy for his school; Dorothy Hine co-founder of the competition; Amelie, winner of the 2021 People’s Choice Award and Mia, 2021 Runner up for Warren Hine Trophy.


 Rostrum ACT PSSC 2021



From the Archives

Enjoy the speeches from the 2017 Grand Final by clicking on the YouTube link for each speaker -

Competition Speeches

"A Winning Formula" by Heli L., Mt Rogers Primary School, Melba - 

"Adapting to Change" by Marama H., Campbell Primary School - 

"Adapting to Change" by Luca H.,  Holy Family Primary School, Gowrie - 

"Citizenship" by Clancy P., Marist College Junior School, Pearce - 

"Making A Difference" by Akira B., Lyneham Primary School - 

"Making A Difference" by Katie P., Torrens Primary School - 

"Adapting to Change" by Oliver S.-H., Rosary Primary School, Watson - 

"Making a Difference" by Kabir B. of Neville Bonner Primary School, Bonner - 

Guest Speakers

"Endangered Species" by Tristan P. of Yass Public School - 

"Australia Day" by Aysha C. of Gold Creek Primary School - 

"A Quiet Achiever" by Audry K. of Canberra Girls Grammar School, Deakin - 

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