Pair’s wisdom a vote winner
The idea of being interviewed by a panel of strangers, grilled on current events, asked impromptu questions in front of a packed room and made to deliver a prepared speech is enough to send most people running for the hills.
But not Hannah Bowden, 17, and Dylan Williams, 15.
On Wednesday night, the pair were respectively endorsed by the Busselton and Dunsborough branches of Lions Australia as their representatives for the nationwide Lions Youth of the Year contest after winning over the judging panel of three.
The two came out of the gates strong, fielding questions from the likes of Busselton police officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant Manus Walsh and the National Australia Bank branch manager for the Geographe region on topics as diverse as pill-testing and the local economy.
The evening then culminated with speeches on a topic of the entrants’ choosing.
Hannah spoke extensively about the virtues of personal growth, leadership and important lessons already learned in her short yet impressive life, which has included development programs in Oxford and Prague, and a raft of other achievements.
Dylan, an aspiring marine biologist and/or engineer with saltwater practically running through his veins, gave the room something to ponder when he spoke about the world’s reliance on single-use plastic and its effects on the ocean.
While the pair’s speeches greatly varied in subject matter as well as delivery — Hannah, with poise and professionalism and Dylan with candour and charisma — the judges commended their passion, preparation and ambition.
The duo will go on to the WA finals, which will then determine winners to attend the national finals.
Note: Busselton-Dunsborough Times news editor Taelor Pelusey was the third member of the judging panel.
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