Debating is an integral part of the co-curricular program at St Andrews and there has been considerable development in this area of College’s provision for students. It is our hope that in conjunction with Music, Drama, the Visual Arts, and the Extension and Enrichment co-curricular programs such as Tournament of the Minds and Future Problem Solving, our Debating Program will show that thinking, speaking and being creative does not end with the classroom academic program. In fact, the classroom is only the beginning!

Why debating?

If students like to express an opinion and justify it, and then engage in healthy discussion with others who may not share the same viewpoint, then debating offers a supportive and challenging environment in which to develop these skills. Debating enables students to:

  • work in a small team environment to achieve a goal
  • develop research skills
  • engage in current issues which affect themselves, their broader community or global society
  • develop critical thinking skills
  • structure an argument
  • think and plan under time constraints
  • learn to deconstruct an argument and evaluate its worth
  • speak with confidence in front of an audience
  • speak following formal conventions to achieve a purpose


Sunshine Coast Debating Competition

We are now gearing up for another fantastic season of debating in the Sunshine Coast Debating Competition will be run throughout Term 3, on a Wednesday afternoon or evening. Students should confirm with Mrs Guy, via email or in person,  if they want to be part of a team. Students can email: There will be reminders at assembly and in the daily notices for the next two weeks.

Key dates are as follows:

Semi Final - 11th October
Grand Final - 18th October

USC Debating Competition

Congratulations to our St Andrew’s Senior Team 3 who competed in the Semi Finals of the USC Debating Competition on Wednesday evening.

Mia Payne, Jack Buksh and Sarah Wrigley were narrowly defeated by Sunshine Coast Grammar school.

The fourth member of our team, Danielle Sealey, was unable to compete due to another school commitment. These students debated the topic “That nuclear energy is the answer to Australia’s current energy crisis”.

They presented a compelling argument as the negative team, arguing that nuclear energy was not the answer to the shortage right now: it was far too expensive, takes too long to build the infrastructure, and the environmental, health and safety consequences when things go wrong were definitely not worth the risk!

Every speaker in both teams spoke with powerful conviction, presenting a well- researched and reasoned argument. It was an extremely high quality debate.

A special thankyou must go to Sophie Wrigley, who has supported debating at St Andrew’s over many years in her role as coach. Her leadership and wisdom as a coach have been unwavering and I know that the debaters who have worked alongside her appreciate the time she has willingly given. Thankyou Sophie.

Mrs Adele Guy


Attendance at each debate:

All members of each team will be required to attend on the afternoon of each debate. Students who are not 1st, 2nd or 3rd speaker will be 4th speaker, whose role it is to assist in preparation. In addition this person (or a fifth member of the team) will be required to be the chairperson or timekeeper during the debate.

United Nations Youth Australia: EVATTS Competition

UN Youth Voice is a public speaking event for students in Years 7-10, now running on the Sunshine Coast on the weekend of 21-22 October 2017.

UN Youth Voice asks contestants to present their innovative solutions to some of the world’s most prominent and pressing issues.

Students are invited to select the issue about which they are most passionate from four provided topics. The aim is to suggest tangible and achievable solutions to the complications surrounding their given topic. This is presented through a prepared speech, with a judges’ “Question Time” component.

If you are interested, please see Mrs Guy or send her an email at 

Registrations are open now.

Jack Buksh and Sarah Wrigley are competing in the EVATT Youth United Nations Competition. They completed the second round at Brisbane Girls' Grammar School last Sunday. It was a full-day event.

Jack and Sarah represented the United Kingdom. They were part of a very high paced and high quality debate, emulating the processes used at the United Nations. Approximately 25-30 teams competed in the second round which was conducted in two chambers.

Achieving resolutions was very tough: for example, the unseen resolution was about the U.K's occupation of the Falkland islands during the Thatcher era,  so Jack and Sarah found it very difficult to debate (representing the UK!)  but they handled it well . In the end they had to resort to using the power of veto because the UK's interests were not remotely met, and it would have been worse to vote in favour.

The main issue for debate in the chamber in Round 2 was targeted killings or assassinations.

Sunshine Coast Debating Competition Draws - These will be posted here on a weekly basis. If there are late changes to the draw or debates, these will be emailed to the relevant parents and students as soon as possible. 

Junior Division DRAW

Senior Division DRAW 

In Term 3, students will have opportunity to be involved in the Sunshine Coast Debating Competition sponsored by the University of the Sunshine Coast. Teams from north of Noosa to Redcliffe in the south are involved. In 2015, over 50 teams and more than 200 scheduled debates were run at venues throughout the Sunshine Coast!

So, what does this mean for St Andrews students?

Students will have opportunity to attend the SC Debating Expo late in Term 2. This comprises a one day workshop at the University where they will see a debate involving senior, experienced debaters, and work with students from other schools to understand and use the skills in debating.

Students will nominate to be involved. Students from Years 6-12 are encouraged to participate.

Teams and coaches are allocated and announced at the end of Term 2. Parents, teachers and experienced senior students are welcome to be coaches.

There will be a number of workshops held in the first two weeks of Term 3 for any student who is new to debating.

Students learn how to prepare and deliver a short prep debate: Topics are given to teams on the night and students have one hour to prepare.

Organisational details

  • The Competition is held on Wednesday evenings in Term 3.
  • The Sunshine Coast is divided into three regions: south, central and north.
  • Age Divisions: Years 6-7 (Junior); Years 8-9 (Intermediate); Years 10-12 (Senior).
  • The venues and times at which debates are held during 2017 in the Central Region are as follows:
Division Debate/Preparation Times
Years 6 - 7 Debate commences 4.30pm (Round 1 - 3)
Years 6 - 7 Preparation commences 4.30pm/Debate commences 5.30pm (Round 4)
Years 8 - 9 Preparation commences 5.45pm/Debate commences 6.45pm
Years 10 - 12 Preparation commences 7pm/Debate commences 8pm

Please note: 2017 venues are Sienna Catholic College and Sunshine Coast Grammar School. 

  • Each division competes with four preliminary rounds (and one play-off round if required) prior to a single round of Semi-Finals and then a Grand Final.
  • Semi-Finals and Grand Finals for each age division are hosted at the University of Sunshine Coast campus, early in Term 4 (October).

Rules & Regulations

Coaches Handbook

Our Open Division Debating Team, consisting of Jack Buksh, Mia Payne, Danielle Sealey, Zoe Wiley, Mia Meder Bird and Rory Shannon have debated three rounds in the ISDCN Virtual Debating Competition. The team won their debate against Glasshouse Christian College, successfully arguing that “We should not fear artificial intelligence”  in Round 1, but then lost their second and third round against very strong and experienced teams from Scotch Oakburn College and Sunshine Coast Grammar.

Congratulations to our Year 9-10 Debating Team for defeating Glasshouse Christian College as they debated the topic:  “That we should establish parliamentary quotas for people under the age of 35.” Estelle Flemming, Olivia Flemming, Jazz Rowe and Moira Cairns spoke with confidence to argue the Negative case. The students had just one hour’s preparation on a difficult topic.

Our Year 6 team (Kelly Smith, Lara Swenson, Will Malone, Ashley Tarsilli) had a  convincing win against Tara Anglican College in Round 1, where they debated the negative case on the topic “That Australia should adopt a new Flag”. In the second round, they debated against Gulf Christian College. The topic was “ That Books are Better than Movies” and we were the negative team. The students who debated were Kelly Smith, Ashleigh Tarsilli,  Will Malone and Lara Swenson. All students are to be congratulated on their thorough preparation, the delivery of their convincing arguments and their continued improvement with rebuttal.

This is one of the strengths of the  ISDCN competition: it gives remote schools the opportunity to access authentic debating experience.

We have strong interest from students in Years 7-8 and  this shows great promise for the USC Debating Competition which commences in Term 3. Our Year 7 debaters were victorious in their first match for the ISDCN Debating competition.  With many well-crafted arguments and structurally sound rebuttal, our team showed tremendous teamwork and poise.  The topic was “That households should only be allowed one car.” Highlights from our match included the exorbitant amount of rebuttal points generated by all three team members, leaving the opposition to come up with different points on the fly.  Noah Barrett’s highlight of using environmentally friendly fuels was the dagger to our opponents’ cling to climate change. Juliette Harding Bradburn and Kira Dowrick’s use of gestures and effective manner were also key to our success when linking each other’s points to their own. Overall, everyone performed well and we look forward to the next challenge.  The other team of Year 8s from Bundaberg Christian College were quite astonished that our team was entirely composed of Year 7s as they spoke so well and clearly articulated a better side of the motion.

We’d like to thank Joel Tomkins for his assistance in the setup of the hardware and software needed for the online Competition. The Learning Hub provides an amazing space which facilitates this kind of learning and so we are grateful, every day, for being able to work and learn at St Andrew's!

2017 Virtual Debating Competition Results

Year 6 Debating Team

News & Events

Mon, 23 Oct 2017 -
6:00pm to 7:00pm

Wed, 25 Oct 2017 -
8:45am to 2:45pm

Wed, 25 Oct 2017 -
1:00pm to 1:40pm

Wed, 25 Oct 2017 -
3:30pm to 5:30pm

Fri, 27 Oct 2017 -
10:00am to 10:40am

Fri, 27 Oct 2017 -
5:30pm to 7:30pm

Sat, 28 Oct 2017 -
2:30pm to 4:00pm

Tue, 31 Oct 2017 - 9:00am
Tue, 31 Oct 2017 - 9:00pm