Coby Calleja at the 2019 Chinchilla Lions Youth of the Year Awards Night at Chinchilla RSL, Thursday February 28.
Coby Calleja at the 2019 Chinchilla Lions Youth of the Year Awards Night at Chinchilla RSL, Thursday February 28. Brooke Duncan

Chinchilla Lions Youth of the Year makes history

THERE are two awards given each year at the Chinchilla Lions Youth of the Year competition - the overall award and the public speaking prize.

Never has one student won both - until now.

Chinchilla State High School captain Coby Calleja had the first clean sweep ever and is now looking ahead to the regional competition.

Mr Calleja said he decided to give the competition a go to gain experience in public speaking and do something different.

The competition involved impromptu speeches, an interview and a rehearsed speech delivered on the awards night at the RSL last Thursday.

The interviews earlier that day ranged from what students wanted to do after school, to political issues and what they liked about Melon Festival.

"Probably the effect it has on the community, how it puts smiles on everyone's faces when we're in tough times,” was Mr Calleja's answer.

As for the win, he said it was a "good boost” but really "just a bonus” on top of what had been a brilliant program.

"It's a good experience and now I'm just going to have to make sure I practise so I can do my best at the next level,” he said.

As for his competition, fellow students Rishabh Chhabra and Ellena Welke, Mr Calleja had nothing but praise.

"We all had our strong points, I struggled in some areas, we were all very good I think,” he said.

"There was only three ofus but I think we should all be proud of what we did.”


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