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Raynor makes national final

Monday, 11th April, 2011

FINALIST: Local Lions Youth of the Year, Raynor Hicks, has made it to the National finals in Tasmania. FINALIST: Local Lions Youth of the Year, Raynor Hicks, has made it to the National finals in Tasmania.

Raynor Hicks has become the first local in almost 40 years to make it into the national final of the Lions' Youth of the Year competition.

The ex-Willyama High School student has gone on in leaps and bounds after winning the local Lions Youth of the Year in November.

For the past three years Raynor has participated in the competition and won the Best Public Speaker award.

But last year she won both the public speaking award and was named the overall winner.

Since then she has won the regional and zone finals and the South Australian state final in Adelaide.

On Tuesday, Raynor will travel to Launceston, Tasmania, to represent the Northern Territory and SA in the National final.

Raynor said that in the State final competitors had to present a five-minute speech on their own topic and two 2-minute impromptu speeches. One was about whether the federal government should spend money on international aid, and the other about legalising illicit drugs.

Raynor said she couldn't believe that she won the State section.

"I was the only public school student and with their high standards it wasn't expected at all," she said.

"The competition is harder ... at each stage it gets harder and harder, the students get better.

"I didn't realise how prestigious the competition was or what was involved."

Raynor thanked the Lions Club and her school for the opportunities they had given her.

"The Lions Club are very committed to youth.

"I would like to thank Willyama High School for always encouraging the students to get in competitions and give any assistance needed."

Raynor, who is now studying pharmacy at university in Wagga Wagga, said the competition hadn't cut into her studies.

"It is just the weekends I commit to Lions ... I have been able to juggle both so far," she said.

She said her parents were proud of her achievements.

"My parents are very, very proud and very surprised as well ... they said this will be life-changing for me."

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