ANYBODY who has ever met Jakub Nabaglo would know he has the gift of the gab - from lobbying the government to public speaking - the teenage activist is never shy to contribute an opinion.
Last week, the Mulwaree High School prefect won what has been dubbed by officials as ‘the toughest’ local Lions Club Youth of the Year Quest in recent memory, holding at bay Canberra Girls Grammar School Felicity Moran as well as Trinity Catholic College’s Zoe Caldwell and Marley Bourke-O’Neale.
Goulburn City Lions Club youth chairman Dave King told the Post he was extremely impressed with all of the contestants and that he couldn’t remember a competition that had been so hard fought.
“We had four brilliant students. I think it was the first time I had ever seen all four kids go the full two minutes on both (impromptu) questions,” he said.
“(The Lions Club Youth of the Year Quest) is a very prestigious event for us. It is probably one of the more prestigious things our club does throughout the year. We put a lot of effort into making it one of the top nights of the year.”
Mr King believed all four students were not only a credit to both their families and schools but were also representative of the youth in Goulburn more broadly. He said it was sad that all too often we only heard about the “five per cent” of youngsters who misbehaved while the vast majority, who were “good kids”, missed out on recognition.
On Sunday, Jakub progressed even further in the competition, taking out the regional title.
After giving a five minute prepared speech about the supremacy of the Finnish education system and the lessons Australia could learn from it, he successfully argued that while debate was fundamental to smart decision making, our leaders needed to find a balance between talk and action.
He also told the judges that if he could change one thing about Australia he would get politicians to engage with the youth and get the media to stop portraying young people so negatively.
Jakub will compete at the district championships in Merimbula on March 16. The youngster said he was proud of his achievement.
“I’ve met some really brilliant young people at both stages of the competition, I was really surprised I won it,” he said.
“I felt honoured to win. It was a great experience. I enjoyed practicing my public speaking and interviewing skills and getting to know such passionate and opinionated young people.”