There was an air of expectancy, as the room filled with Kiwanis members (from the host club St Heliers, Takapuna and Mount Roskill) and the speakers, their support crew, and the adjudicator, Victoria Walker.
Two of the speakers (Louis Addock (Sacred Heart)and Chris McCardle (Selwyn)) had competed last year, and they were joined this year by two young women, Sarah Morrison and Kim Darbyshire.
Sarah opened proceedings with an impassioned talk on “Breaking the stigma around mental health.” It needs to be acknowledged within our society, and not forced underground with uninformed advice to “Harden up!”
Chris followed her with an unusual but compelling topic: “Why workers’ cooperatives are important for society.” Whilst not being a perfect alternative to the policies of the free market, in this system. bosses and workers are all equal – and income disparities are reduced.
Kim spoke about teenage life. No time is wasted – as every activity is grist to the mill, in school or out.
Finally, Louis asked us what the future holds: given that 65% of the jobs that will exist in the next decade haven’t been thought of yet. He spoke of a future where the creative industries will go “gang busters”, and innovation is the watchword.
I didn’t envy Victoria her task who gave her verdict, and the trophy, to Chris McCardle.
Story by Mike Stachurski – Kiwanis Club of St Heliers