Local student takes home top public speaking prize

Nathan Bartolo. Photo: Melinda Jane

Vice Captain of Wollemi College in Werrington, Nathan Bartolo, has taken the top prize at the Catholic Schools Public Speaking competition.

Last month over 700 competitors stretching from the Blue Mountains into Sydney city gathered to compete for the coveted prize.

The school’s public speaking coach, Brett Wright, said Nathan’s ability to engage the audience is what set him apart from his competitors.

“It’s a massive competition, it’s one of the biggest in the world,” he said.

Nathan took first place in the senior division after speaking passionately and humorously.

“His speech was probably the only one that they were genuinely really interested in over the eight minutes,” Mr Wright said.

“We spoke with the adjudicators afterwards and it was unanimous, all three had him in first place. We’re both still flying high.”

Nathan Bartolo with Brett Wright. Photo: Melinda Jane

The success comes after Nathan took second place two years ago when he competed in Year 10. Mr Wright said the Werrington school, which currently has only 286 students, encourages the important life skill of public speaking.

“I always stress to the kids that it’s a life skill, they’re preparing for their wedding day, funerals, birthday parties as well as career stuff,” he said.

Nathan currently has his sights set on studying engineering at either UTS or UNSW once he completes his HSC later this year.