We had two Speakers this time, both pupils at Hale School. Digby House and Xavier Torre came along to see which one of them would advance to the District Final of the Rotary Four Way Test Speaking Competition, and what a good contest it was! Digby House kicked things off with his chosen topic of ‘What’s The Price of a Woman’s Life’, and he talked about the disparity that exists between developed and developing nations when it comes to antenatal and postnatal care. Whilst Australia might experience a small number of still-births and a small number of maternal deaths in a year, countries such as the Congo in Africa experience tens of thousands. Digby proposed that a solution would be for developed nations to provide ethical education as well as ultrasound technology to the less fortunate nations, and that we could send Registrars overseas for a couple of months as part of their training to impart their knowledge and educate people in developing countries. Organisations such as Rotary could help by accessing second hand equipment here and sending it overseas.
Xavier Torre then took the floor and spoke on the topic ‘Money or Respect?’ He asked the question: is it appropriate to use women for sexual exploitation in order to promote sports or products? We are made to be fixated on female characteristics rather than sporting prowess, and he gave examples of where this happens e.g. beach volleyball. He suggested that leadership, proper sponsorship and grass roots engagement is needed to fix the problem. Leaders can promote women’s sport based on expertise, sponsors can boycott sexploitation, and clubs can insist on proper sportswear from an early age. The Adjudicators (Matthew Lane from Rostrum and our Members Peter Burns and Sue Brown) declared Xavier Torre to be the winner. Dr Melanie Hindley who coordinates English programmes at Hale – including Public Speaking – came along to give the contestants support. Well done Digby and Xavier!