Ruby’s Award – Winning Speech Hills Grammar First-time public speaker, 12 year old Ruby Cook, tackled the very sophisticated topic of the human condition, social media and the fear of ‘not being liked’ to win the IPSHA (Independent Primary School Heads Association) Public Speakers’ Challenge 2017. “I have done a bit of debating before, but I now realise that public speaking is actually very different.” Although Hills Grammar has a strong debating history, this was the first time the School had entered this competition with three Year 6 students. Ruby was one of 107 students from 36 independent school across NSW to enter into the competition with the prepared topic The Best Things In Life Are Free. Her argument about the joy of volunteering and giving back to one’s community saw Ruby chosen into the final where eleven students had 10 minutes to write a speech on Our Greatest Fear. “While most other children talked about spiders, snakes and terrorism, Ruby ingeniously called upon some of the deep learning she experienced in class this year (Hills Grammar follows the World IB program Primary Years Program), and with sincere passion presented the notion of our biggest fear is being who we are, “commented Ms Khoo, Junior School Debating and Public Speaking coach. Ruby was also awarded $100 dollars prize money which she donated to her charities of choice; Beyond Blue and Mission Australia And a final word from Ruby… “Public speaking is a great opportunity to think and get others thinking about interesting topics.”