Thimeth’s speech sets scene for national finals

17 May 2022

Year 13 student Thimeth Wijesinghe has won the regional finals of the National Race Unity Speech Awards and will be off to Auckland next month to compete in the semi-finals and finals weekend.

Thimeth’s speech in the hotly contested North Canterbury heat of the awards on 10 May, celebrated difference. He urged people not to be colour blind, but to be colour brave! If there was one small step everyone could take, it was learning how to correctly pronounce people’s names, he said. College will be presented with an engraved shield by the local organisers at a future assembly.

Meanwhile, Thimeth will be honing his speaking skills ahead of the finals at the Ngā Kete Wānanga Marae in Otara. The semi-finals and hui will be held on 25 June, and the final the following day. Out of a possible 100 points, 50 points are for content, 30 for delivery and 20 for use of language. The national champion and their school will each receive $1000.

The Race Unity hui aims to provide a space where a wide range of young people can help advance race relations in New Zealand.