The Lions Club of Jindabyne held its inaugural Youth of the Year Quest on Tuesday December 4 at Horizons Resort, Jindabyne.
The Quest is held by Lions Clubs right across Australia and in all countries where Lions Clubs exist.
The ultimate aim of the Quest is to select an outstanding young individual to be an Australian ambassador with the opportunity to travel overseas under the auspices of Lions Clubs International.
Initial competition in the quest commences at club level and successful participants progress through to zone, regional, district and state finals.
Young participants gain valuable personal rewards through the unique opportunity they have to voice opinions and passions that affect the communities in which we live.
The Jindabyne Lions Club Final was contested by seven quality candidates from Jindabyne Central School and Snowy Mountains Grammar School from years 10 and 11. Candidates were required to undergo an interview conducted by three independent judges: Mr David Farmer of Fire and Rescue NSW; Ms Meghan Quinn of Snowy River Shire Council; and Mr Paul Corcoran of Thredbo Pty Ltd.
The interview was made up of three parts. In the first section, contestants were required to outline their leadership, cultural, sporting, citizenship and academic experiences.
The second section required contestants to respond to two impromptu questions on recent events taken from state, national or international contexts with no preparation time. The third and final component provided contestants with the opportunity to present a pre-prepared speech on a topic of their choice.
Throughout the interview process, contestants were required to speak clearly, compose their responses in a clear and logical way and allow their personalities and passions to shine through.
The judging panel was impressed by the quality of each candidate, particularly with the way they all brought a unique skill set and differing perspectives to the competition. Judges allocated points for each section based on specific criteria to determine placing.
Contestants included Renee Connor, Lewis Foster and Georgia Walters from Snowy Mountains Grammar School and Michaela Ripper, Blayre Smith, Harry Needham and James Heimann from Jindabyne Central School.
After much deliberation, the judges unanimously decided on Harry Needham as the Jindabyne Lions Club Final winner, with Georgia Walters placing a very close second.
Very few points separated all contestants and they are to be congratulated on their outstanding level of preparation and well-developed personal qualities they exhibited.
Thankyou also to Mrs Paula Pidcock of SMGS and Mr Michael Kowalewski of JCS and Jindabyne Lions Club for their organisation of the event which promises to begin a long standing and proud tradition in Jindabyne.