Last Thursday 25 August twenty one eager students and three staff members headed off on the bus to the Frayne Speech Festival at Emmanuel College in Warrnambool. The students were set to compete in Public Speaking, Debating and the Voice Choir events at the festival.

During the bus ride down, the students rehearsed their speeches and performances enthusiastically, laughed, watched a movie, chatted and some even managed to have a snooze.

We arrived at our accommodation at Deakin University and sorted out ourselves and got straight into preparation. The Voice Choir rehearsed the two poems they were presenting and the Debaters and Public Speakers worked on their speeches and critiqued each other's arguments. The Voice Choir also decided that matching braids might give them the winning edge so it quickly turned into a pseudo hair salon.

The next morning we headed off to Emmanuel College ready for an exciting festival. Everyone headed off to their respective events and competed strongly. The debate team won their first debate for the day and the Voice Choir presented confidently. There was a break in the day for the Voice Choir which meant that they were able to support one of the debates where the girls presented well considered arguments.

In the afternoon the Voice Choir competed in the finals and won the overall competition for the day, narrowly beating the reigning champions. As staff, we were incredibly proud of how the students carried themselves throughout the festival. They were prepared and presented confidently, demonstrating wonderful sportsmanship.

Congratulations to all of the students involved!

The bus ride home was full of joy, and a fairly impressive sing-a-long.

Students Reflections:
My time at Voice Choir was fun and empowering. As a person who is not so comfortable with public speaking, this was an amazing opportunity to work on my confidence in a fun and safe environment with all my friends. The overall trip was so much fun and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is considering doing it next year!
Minna V. Year 10 (MMZI)

Voice Choir was an amazing experience, filled with so many memories. The bus rides were very entertaining because we sang karaoke at the top of our lungs, rehearsed and most importantly … slept! All the other schools were so lovely, especially the hosting school Emmanuel College. They came up to us and started many conversations, they were so welcoming! Getting prepared to perform our poems was the most nerve wracking part but once we were on the stage, it was tremendously thrilling. The feeling once we had won was exhilarating! Most of us did not expect to place first, as all the schools participating were terrific but it was definitely an adventure we will never forget.
Olivia S. Year 10 (MMWI)

Voice Choir and the road trip to Warrnambool was an exciting experience that will now be part of my wonderful memories of OLMC.

Rehearsing and performing with such a wonderful group of friends was so much fun and seeing the development of the two poems and workshopping movement to go with the dialogue was entertaining, but also rewarding. It was satisfying seeing our improvement.

As a group we all had matching french braids and we rehearsed on the bus trip and up until 10.30pm to perfect our performance.

The hard work paid off when OLMC was announced as the 2022 Frayne Voice Choir winners.

I highly recommend students to participate in the Frayne Speech Festival next year.
Matilda B. Year 10 (AASE)

Being part of the Frayne Speech festival was amazing. It was a great experience to develop our debating and public speaking skills and improvise in order to come up with rebuttals and secret topics within a time constraint. My favourite part of the trip was being able to make new friends in a variety of year levels and work with them in debating but also practising and discussing topics with the students from the other year levels. I enjoyed all aspects of the day and the trip and I'm looking forward to doing it all again next year!
Tiara L. Year 11 (MFTA)

The Frayne Speech Festival offered me the opportunity to participate in an overnight camp at Warrnambool with a group of 21 other students from OLMC. This festival involved competing in Voice Choir, Debating and Public Speaking; against 11 other Mercy Schools. It was a wonderful experience for all students. I had lots of fun engaging in the competition. My team was fortunate enough to be selected to be part of the Voice Choir category. We undertook many rehearsals and battled through two rounds on the day. Subsequently, we came 1st in the Voice Choir category of the event. We were thrilled to bring home the ‘Voice Choir’ title. It was a very proud moment for the team and the school; the last time OLMC won was 11 years ago.
Tiffany M. 8MKY

Felicia Taine, Hayley Gamble Curran, Deb Butterworth and Rhonda Brislin
Our Lady of Mercy College Teachers