“The students did their schools and communities proud by elegantly articulating their positions and arguing passionately” said Mr Southwick.
“I think we have a few future politicians in our midst”
Students were also given the opportunity to speak on how they would improve their schools if they were put in charge. During this session the audience of other debaters were encouraged to respectfully heckle to give a taste of life in Parliament.
“Parliament can be a robust place and it was great that these students were able to think on their feet and deal with heckles, even from their own teacher!”
The team from Caulfield Grammar won the Matter of Public Importance debate with their passionate idea for how to fix their school on Glen Eira Road.
“I hope these students go back to their schools to try and put their great ideas in to action.”
The winning schools from each electorate, Leibler Yavneh College and Our Lady of the Sacred Heart College, fought in a secret topic grand final debate that asked whether Australians should be required to use their own names on the internet. The students discussed the feasibility of such a proposal and the pros and cons of a government database of online identities.
“I was really impressed with their ability to get to the core questions at play in this topic. Cyber bullying and ‘trolling’ are big issues for young Victorians and it was clear that these students recognised the complexities involved in tackling this”
The grand final was won by Our Lady of the Sacred Heart College.
The Debating Challenge is named after The Hon Dr David Kemp, who served as the Federal Member for Goldstein from 1990 to 2004 and was a Minister for a majority of the Howard Government.