Griffith University student Patrisha Kay, winner of the 2014 Speakers University Challenge, has been presented with her trophy at a ceremony on the Gold Coast campus.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Honourable Bronwyn Bishop was unable to attend, so the presentation was made by The Honourable Karen Andrews MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry and Science and Member for McPherson.
“Freedom of speech is something I feel strongly about and I thought it would be a really good experience to enter,’’ said Patrisha, who is studying a Bachelor of Laws/Commerce.
The Speaker’s University’s Challenge aims to raise awareness of the House of Representatives among young Australians.
Entrants were challenged to present their views and create a three-minute video exploring the topic of ‘Freedom of speech in a modern day democracy’.
Patrisha’s passion was rewarded and despite tough competition, she won first place for her entry.
In Patrisha’s speech she asks, “Are we truly free from restraint and censorship in modern society ruled by technology and cyberspace?
“In this age of texting, typing, and video chatting we attempt for the world to hear our cries, our ideas, our urges for change, and live in the illusion that we are being understood.”
It took Patrisha just a day to write, perform and film the winning speech and she is still incredulous about her success.
“I got a call just after I finished an exam and they said they were sending me down to Canberra as one of the top three entrants. We were at a lunch with Bronwyn Bishop when they announced the winners and I was completely shocked when they read my name,” she said.
“At Griffith Law School we are very proud of our students’ abilities to not only successfully apply the law in readiness for legal practice, but also to critique and question the law and our legal system,’’ said Dr Therese Wilson, GLS Deputy Head.
“We are confident that many of our students, like Patrisha, will go on to influence positive change in both our legal system and broader society.”
With her confidence-boosting win, Patrisha is planning to enter further mooting competitions with the Griffith Law School.
“I entered three last year and it was a great experience. I would really like to do more this year.”
While at high school, Patrisha had a passion for both legal studies and accounting and, for a time, vacillated between business and commerce as the second program for her degree.
“I find law intriguing so there was no question I wouldn’t study that and in the end, I chose commerce instead of business as I really love accounting.”