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Wednesday, 05 Apr 2023

Ƶ¶ scholar was Brisbane West’s sole representative in prestigious Lions Districts Finals

Champion Ƶ¶ public speaker Emily Goodlet was one of five regional finalists who competed in last month’s prestigious Lions Youth of the Year 2023 District Final in Brisbane.

The WestMAC Debating Speaker of the Year winner represented Brisbane’s West after winning the club and regional rounds to make the Q1 District Finals, which covers an area of more than 600 kilometres and 76 Lions clubs, from west to St George, north to Caboolture and south to Northern Rivers of New South Wales.

Emily, a product of Ƶ¶’s award-winning Debating program, competed in the District finals against students from Brisbane, Redlands, the Gold Coast, and the South West region.

“I entered the Lion’s Youth of the Year to not only challenge myself and my public speaking abilities but, to be a role model to my WestMAC debating team, who I try to inspire every day to recognise what is achievable,’’ Emily said.

WestMAC’s Leader of Learning (SOSE) and Public Speaker co-ordinator Donna Googe said Emily was upholding Ƶ¶’s sterling reputation with the Lions Youth of the Year competition, as WestMAC had produced regional, district and state finalists.

“Emily has become a role model for younger students, who are also learning critical thinking skills and the ability to express their voice, through our Ƶ¶ Public Speaking and Debating program,’’ she said.

Earlier this month Emily,16, won the Fassifern Regional Final, against two other regional representatives, and was named best public speaker of the day at the Lions Event at Kalbar.
“I wouldn’t be where I am today without WestMAC: through developing my self-confidence, having trust in what I say and learning strategies in how to express myself formally I have learnt to speak in front of a whole room of people. Ms Wendy Jorgensen has been our Debating coach and she has helped to shape me as a public speaker, and her incredible knowledge has been invaluable,’’ Emily said.

“The Lions Youth of the Year has given me the opportunity to discuss issues I find relevant within my community and a platform to present them amongst other community leaders, including the issue of bullying in society. I am proud to represent my school and region and to have progressed as far as I have.’’

She won the opening Lions round hosted by the Rosewood Lions Club in February.

Emily paid tribute to WestMAC’s extensive subject choices for helping her gain the knowledge on important societal issues which has given her the platform to perform strongly with impromptu questions.

“I’ve been able to gain knowledge across a broad range of issues in society. I’m forever grateful to be a student at WestMAC which is definitely the school of opportunities,’’ she said.

Ms Googe praised Emily’s outstanding achievement and her passion for social justice.

“The Lions Youth of the Year quest is one of Australia's toughest and most prestigious competitions and helps to develop young community leaders,’’ Ms Googe said. “Emily is a young woman, who is very aware of local and social issues and who is prepared to step up and lead in her community, an outcome of WestMAC’s exceptional education, support and opportunities for students.’’

Each Lions Youth of the Year competitor must complete an interview with the judges covering questions including about their accomplishments, a knowledge of current events and issues and two public speaking rounds.

For more information:


Ƶ¶ Senior Marketing and Communications Officer

Fiona Purdon

P:07 3813 4518 and M: 0429 491 335

fpurdon@wmac.com.au