Debating 2015 – A student’s perspective

Following from our experience in the QDU year 12 competition last year, Katelyn Lamont, Meg Breen, Matilda Stevenson, Sasha Brady and I decided to try and get just that little bit further this year and debate once again. Every three or four weeks for the first four rounds of debating we found ourselves juggling our school work, debate prep and actual debates in order to qualify for the finals rounds. Two long prep debates and two short prep debates later we were over joyed to find ourselves in the finals rounds of the year 12 QDU competition once more. Following three finals rounds in quick succession, we battled our way through long prep debates, short prep debates and exams alike to make it to the quarter finals.

Up until this point for us debating had been a fun activity, helping us develop the speaking and critical thinking skills we knew we would need not only to get through IB English, but to help us in our future careers in law, politics, international relations (and engineering too). Following getting into the quarter finals the pressure started to rise, our support crowd started to grow, all in tandem with mocks looming in the next week. After fighting for a better solution for the gender pay gap against Gregory Terrace, we made it to the semi-finals where we argued that in countries with strict gun laws the police should be allowed to carry fire arms against Sandgate DSHS. In a shocking turn of events we won the semi-finals, and we were hit with the realisation that we would have to debate once again in the middle of mocks. Through the week we steadily worked at our speeches for the topic and then following three and a half hours of chemistry exams last Wednesday we headed to debate that “We regret the emphasis on university education in developed countries.” It was so great to see half of the staff and some students show up, along with our parents, and after a challenging debate against Brisbane Girls Grammar, where we explored the pressures, impacts and sometimes negative effects of a strong focus on university education, we found out in the awards ceremony after a tense wait of three hours that we had won the finals of the year 12 QDU!

Debating has been such a challenging, hectic, tiring but immensely rewarding experience for us all. In spite of losing our coach half way through the season, we took great leaps of independence in managing to muddle through balancing debating and study. We would not have made it to the finals without the valuable help of Mr Hassel and Jackson Huang. The season has been so great, and I know we all cannot wait to see how the teams go next year!
Emma Sudron, Year 12 Student