Rocky student takes four hours to write award-winning speech

PASSIONATE: Chay Conaglen will present his winning speech in Parliament House on December 3.
PASSIONATE: Chay Conaglen will present his winning speech in Parliament House on December 3. Sharyn Oneill

HOURS before submitting the biggest speech of his life, Rockhampton's Chay Conaglen had second thoughts.

Chay scrunched up the paper he'd been working on for days and threw it in the bin.

For the next four hours he put together a new piece.

It turned out to be award- winning.

The Rockhampton High School student will deliver this speech in Canberra to the nation's leaders in December having taken out first prize in the My First Speech competition.

In his speech, where he had to imagine he was a newly elected MP, Chay spoke passionately about Australia's democracy, climate change and the country's relationships with international powerhouses, China and India.

The 17-year-old said he'd always had an interest in politics thanks to his mum's love for news and global issues.

"Mum would always have Question Time on in the middle of the day and she has always been interested in global issues," he said.

"I've always been interested in the news and politics and I can't wait to vote next year when I'm 18.

"I spoke about where I'm from and how I think Australians can achieve anything because we live in this great country. I also discussed Australia's ties with Asia and India and how we have to strengthen those relationships for the economic security and future of our nation."

He said he intended studying law at CQUniversity, but hoped one day to make his stand in the political world.

"As a politician you have the opportunity to do amazing things," he said.

Chay was encouraged to enter the competition, which was open to all Australian secondary school students in years 10-12, by his school English teacher.

"I'm really looking forward to reading my speech in Parliament and I am hoping to meet Tony Abbott. I'd also love to meet John Howard."

Chay will present his speech on December 3.

View Chay's speech online

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