At the ripe old age of 10, Molly Robinson has delivered her maiden speech in Parliament.
The Year Five Jindabyne Central School (JCS) student stood in front of the despatch box in the former House of Representatives at Old Parliament House last week to compete in Rostrum ACT's grand final public speaking competition for primary schools.
Molly was one of only eight students who made it through to the grand final from an original pool of students from 87 schools from around the region.
The schools involved in the competition stretched from Boorowa, north of Canberra, to Jindabyne and included the ACT.
Molly was given a list of six topics to speak on and chose the topic 'home'.
She gave a heartfelt talk on whether home was a feeling or just a word.
Competitors were judged on preparation, structure, entertainment value and expression along with appeal, vocal impact and visual impact.
Molly practised her speech in front of different classes at JCS before heading to Canberra, but still she felt the nerves before her delivery.
"Once I got up and started speaking I felt more confident," she said.
"When I was finished I was very relieved it was over."
The competition was won by Allara Brady from Rosary Primary School in Canberra.
Molly will head into next year's competition with the added advantage of having a year's experience under her belt, as most of her competitors were Year Six students who will next year be ineligible for the primary school section.
"That gives her a good chance next year," Rostrum ACT's primary school coordinator Leigh Harkness said.
"She has gained confidence and experience just by speaking at Old Parliament House."