Develyn Wong recently had success in the Lions Youth of the Year competition when she spoke about Domestic Violence with passion and commitment.
Being a survivor herself, The Year 12 St Monica’s student is not ashamed of what happened to her. She said, “It is such a relevant topic in Australian society as the statistics are disgustingly high.”
She recently spoke about the topic and a range of others at a debating competition in Mossman, progressing through to the next round in Townsville.
She aspires to work for the UN someday, or an organisation in which she can be a voice for those who are unheard.
It’s obvious that domestic violence is an issue close to Develyn’s heart. .
She said about her debate, “Essentially I spoke about how our society still views it as a taboo topic, and the ‘silence’ associated with it. The theme throughout my talk was silence. The only way to address this issue is if it stops being a ‘taboo topic’. Using your voice is highly important.”
Throughout the competition, Develyn won three rounds of debating against 50 other students from high schools across the North Queensland region. She was the overall winner of the Lions Youth of the Year Zone final held in Mossman in February.
To get there, she participated in an interview, presented two impromptu speeches in response to challenging current affairs topics, and delivered her powerful prepared speech on Domestic Violence. She then competed in the Zone final, which was held in Townsville in late March where she addressed over 100 patrons.
Develyn said, “In the competition, the two impromptu questions were regarding my thoughts on a gap year, as well as on the Australian political system.”
When asked what it was that got her so far in the competition, she said, “I was successful because I spoke about topics that I was passionate about.”
Her final winning round was the domestic violence speech. Whilst she had great success, she was honourable in her defeat at the final round in Townsville. “I never enter these competitions to win, I only enter them to share my story and to be a voice,” She said.
Whilst Develyn’s drive and confidence is inspirational, she admits that she is always nervous before taking the stand. The nerves are countered by the support and reassurance of the people around her.
Debating, a career pathway for Develyn
Develyn was originally introduced to Public Speaking at St Monica’s when she joined a debating team in Year 10. She said, “I did this because I had aspirations of becoming a lawyer. Public Speaking also provided me with a platform to express myself and what I’m passionate about.”
She seeks to continue developing her public speaking skills. She said, “By speaking publicly about topics that matter to me, I can apply those skills in my future, as it aligns with my aspirations.”
Develyn, a role model
The school is very proud of Develyn’s achievements, and of her drive and commitment to important social issues.
“What an awesome effort from Develyn, one of our Year 12 role models.”