The Legacy Competition requires a student aged between 12-14 to write a prepared speech of five minutes duration, which can be on any topic but must fit within the guidelines and focus on some of the ideals of the Legacy organisation. The ideals include voluntary service, social justice, caring, personal effort and personal sacrifice/mateship. This speech must be different from speeches in previous rounds. For her prepared speech, Vismi focused on the issue of violence and considered this in the context of social justice.
An excerpt from her speech:
Martin Luther King once said ‘Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter’. And so, we are forgetting the most useful tool we have, and that is our voice. Standing up to violence can bring justice to many people. Our voice can make a difference to the world. Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and dishonesty and greed. If people in our society did this, it would change our whole community.
We know the facts about how violence has affected our society. We know how seriously this issue needs to be taken. But we also know that we need to make a change. We need to make the world safe for generations to come. One voice can make a difference, but many voices together can make a change.
Each student then needs to complete a two-minute impromptu speech. They have only five minutes to write/prepare this and the topic is the same for each student. At the Preliminary Final, the topic was “Use it or Lose it!”. There was a great variety of speeches prepared by students, each with a unique and individualised perspective. Vismi chose to focus her impromptu speech on Risks and Opportunities and her own personal experience of migration from Sri Lanka to contextualise this.
While she was not successful in proceeding to the next round, the competition was fierce and the judges commented on the challenge in separating such a fine group of young women and men.