Carmel School has been participating in the annual Mikolot Competition and has yielded a winner from the recent semi-final round. Year 10 student Naomi K presented a speech on the topic of gratitude and is looking forward to progressing onto the final stage of the competition in Sydney.

Mikolot is a Public Speaking Competition for secondary level students, bringing Australian Jewish schools together and allowing individuals to express their voices amidst the modern Judaism backdrop. This initiative is open to all Year 10 Carmel students, as part of the English syllabus connecting to the Persuasive Writing unit. Only a handful of students proceed to the succeeding rounds, narrowing down to a single winner in the finals.
The competition is divided into four rounds. For its third or semi-final round, Carmel students faced the topic of “Who is rich?” This open-ended topic left students to interpret the term ‘rich’ in their own way, leading Naomi to decipher rich people as those with having gratitude throughout their lives.

“I wasn’t just a student talking to an audience. I took on the persona of the leader of a support group of patients with cancer”.

Adopting this creative persona and using a variety of persuasive techniques such as direct address and repetition, Naomi’s speech was to convince her audience that despite what they possess or lack, gratitude can be discovered in the smallest of things.

“I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how great the day may appear. I wish you enough to appreciate the sun even more. I wish you enough pain so even though the smallest joys of life may appear bigger. I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess”.

Naomi believes that people battling uncontrollable factors in their lives, such as cancer, face more difficulty in finding gratitude. She is hoping to create an emotional connection between her persona and audience, so they can value their life the way it is.

Naomi encourages future Year 10 students at Carmel to participate in Mikolot and advised, “do not second guess yourself and just go with your instincts”. A good speech requires not only structure and well thought out arguments but also passion and words from within.

Naomi’s powerful speech won her a ticket to the finals in Sydney which will be held in September. Other Jewish schools participating in this initiative include Moriah College, Leibler Yavneh College and Bialik College.
All finalists have a chance of winning the mega prize of up to $5000 for a trip to Israel! Carmel School and the community would love to wish Naomi all the best for the Finals!