Myall Coast teen has speech read in Federal Parliament

Deena Clemson loves her local area, supporting sustainable lifestyles to keep it beautiful.

A SPEECH by former Tea Gardens Public School (TGPS) student Deena Clemson has been selected for the ‘Raise Our Voice Australia’ (ROVA) campaign, with her words read out in parliament by Senator Deborah O’Neill in Canberra on Wednesday, 15 November.  

‘ROVA’ allows parliamentarians to choose and read aloud speeches written by young people in their electorate, state, or territory, and Year 9 student Deena found success in 2023.

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Deena, whose favourite subjects include English, HSIE, Science and Marine Studies, also got to speak with Senator O’Neill on the bus home from school the previous Friday, and was over the moon that her submission on “What change would make Australia a better place for future generations?” was selected.

Senator O’Neill is a Federal Labor Senator for New South Wales, and is Labor Duty Senator for the Federal electorate of Lyne.

“I have participated in the ROVA campaign for the last three years and I am so amazed, excited, and honoured to have had my speech selected this year,” Deena said.

“In my submission, I focused on a sustainable lifestyle and how we can all make small changes in our own lives to create a better future for us and future generations.”

“Without the participation of our local member, the chances of success are limited for youth in the area – I encourage Dr David Gillespie to join the ROVA campaign in future years and help the youth of the area to receive a greater chance of success and have a voice just like the opportunity I’ve had this year.”

Politics in the capital may be a future trajectory for Deena, as her path so far has seen her take as Environmental Minister in Year 6 at TGPS, and winning the Bulahdelah Show’s public speaking competition, among many others, professing a love for the art of oration.

“My current aspirations are varied; in the future, I’d love to be a marine biologist and/or Prime Minister and/or Criminal Lawyer, or working for the Federal government.”

By Thomas O’KEEFE

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