Festival of Speech

History of Festival of Spech

The concept of a Festival of Speech for AHIGS was first mooted in the early 1990's by Mr Chris Faisandier, then Principal of Kincoppal - Rose Bay and member of AHIGS.

As Principal of Sacred Heart College in New Zealand, Mr Faisandier was involved with the O'Shea Shield Competition in which about twenty schools from the lower North Island of New Zealand participated.

The purpose of the O'Shea Shield Competition was to encourage students to develop skills in the areas of public speaking, debating, analysis and rhetoric. So popular was the Competition and so high was the standard of presentation, that the winners of the O'Shea Shield were often featured on New Zealand television.

With the support of the AHIGS membership, Mr Faisandier established the Festival of Speech (then known as the Independent Girls Schools Speaking Competition) in NSW in 1996. The inaugural Festival, spanning Friday evening and all day Saturday, was hosted by Kincoppal - Rose Bay and attended by some fifteen schools.

Today the Festival continues to be hosted annually by an AHIGS member's school. Some twenty seven schools now participate and students have the opportunity to perform in the areas of drama, debating, poetry, prose readings, current affairs and religious and ethical questions. The Festival is open to girls from years seven to eleven and offers an important focal point for skill development, personal expression, teamwork and friendship.

During the past twenty years the following schools have hosted Festival of Speech:
1996 - Kincoppal - Rose Bay, 1997 - MLC School, 1998 - Queenwood, 1999 - St Catherine's, 2000 - Pymble Ladies' College, 2001 - Santa Sabina, 2002 - Kincoppal - Rose Bay and Kambala, 2003 - Abbotsleigh, 2004 - Kambala and Kincoppal - Rose Bay, 2005 - MLC School, Santa Sabina and Kambala, 2006 - PLC Sydney, 2007 - St Catherine's, 2008 - Meriden and Santa Sabina, 2009 - Loreto Kirribilli, 2010 - Meriden, 2011 - Abbotsleigh, 2012 - Ravenswood, 2013 - PLC Sydney, 2014 - OLMC, 2015 - Wenona, 2016 - Abbotsleigh

Festival of Speech 2016
Friday, 21 October and Saturday, 22 October 2016
1666 Pacific Highway

In 2016, AHIGS Centenary Year, Festival will be hosted by Abbotsleigh  www.abbotsleigh.nsw.edu.au .
Students should plan to arrive at Abbotsleigh at least 30 minutes prior to the event in which they are participating. They should then register at a location to be advised and proceed to their section venues which will be listed in the Programme. Students are responsible for getting to their event on time and lateness may preclude participation.

Parents and spectators are welcome at Festival however will not be permitted to enter events during a presentation. Please wait until the presenter has finished and enter quietly before the next presentation has commenced.

It is expected that sections will conclude by  5 pm on Saturday. Presentation ceremonies will take place at the conclusion of each section.

We are grateful to Abbotsleigh's Principal, Mrs Judith Poole and her staff for hosting Festival of Speech 2016, with special thanks extended to the girls of Abbotsleigh who will be volunteering their services to assist on the day. We wish good luck to all the participating schools and students and welcome  our country schools who will be travelling long distances to join us on the day.

Please note that MANY OF THE DOCUMENTS BELOW are from the 2015 Festival of Speech and are for guidance only. These will be updated and uploaded to the website as soon as they are available. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact AHIGS on 9888 9477.