OUR SAAY Public Speaking Competition

OUR SAAY – 2024 South Australian Aboriginal Youth Public Speaking Competition

The OUR SAAY Public Speaking Competition encourages Aboriginal children and young people to raise their voices on important topics and matters in Aboriginal affairs.

The competition has 3 categories:

  • Primary (for students in years 3 to 6)
  • Middle (for students in years 7 to 9)
  • Senior (for students in years 10 to 13).

Conditions of entry

All participants must be Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and be enrolled in an educational facility within South Australia.

Competition guidelines

Participants are encouraged to read the competition guidelines before entering.

How to apply

Entries for OUR SAAY 2024 are now open.

The Commissioner invites South Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, from Years 3 to 13, to participate.

The Commissioner would encourage and support participation from students living in regional and remote areas to compete.

Students wishing to participate will be required to submit the online OUR SAAY Public Speaking Competition EOI Form.

Students who have submitted EOI Form will be invited to attend the preliminary heats to be held at the Commissioner’s office in Adelaide, South Australia, from the 14th to 16th of May 2024.

Speech topics

Preliminary Heats

The topic of the preliminary heats is:

“Tell us what the week of NAIDOC celebration means to you”

Choose one of the following areas when addressing this theme: You, Your Family, Your Community, Your School, Australia.

Please note that the speech topic is not aimed at the NAIDOC theme of 2024 specifically, but rather the week of celebration of NAIDOC.

It is at the discretion of the student to talk about their area of choice in their own informative way. This includes choice of words, expression use, pace, punctuation and articulation.


Students who are successful with progressing to the finals will be asked a question based on the theme of NAIDOC 2024:

‘Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud and Proud’

Age categories

Primary (Years 3-6)    –   2 mins

Middle (Years 7-9)      –   2 mins

Senior (Years 10-13)  –   3 mins

Please note that the timeframes provided are indicators only and if you feel as if your question has been addressed in under the timeframe for your age category, this is fine.

However, all preliminary heat speeches will need to be no more than 3 minutes in length.

Preliminary heats

Preliminary heats will be held in person at the Commissioner’s office, 55 Currie Street, Adelaide CBD from 14th to 16th of May 2024. The preliminary judging panel will comprise of three Aboriginal Community Members who will review and assess in live time.

Students will be formally notified if they were successful in being selected to compete in the finals via their nominated email.

Please contact the Competition Coordinator, Alisha Staines, on 08 8226 3345 or alisha.staines@sa.gov.au, should the student be unable to participate in person. We are happy to negotiate where we can with students and families regarding their participation.


The finals event will be held during 2024 NAIDOC week in Adelaide on Wednesday 10th July

Finalists from regional or remote areas who have been successful in the preliminary heats will be able to access travel assistance to attend the event. Please contact the Competition Coordinator, Alisha Staines, for further information.


The successful winners will receive the following prizes:

Primary (Years 3-6) – winner will each receive a trophy, certificate and an iPad.

Middle (Years 7-9) – winner will each receive a trophy, certificate and an iPad.

Senior (Years 10-13)- winner will each receive a trophy, certificate, and a MacBook Air.

All entrants will receive a certificate of participation.