E Block was abuzz with activity on Tuesday night when BSSC hosted the latest round of competition in the Debaters Association of Victoria VCE Grade for 2016.

The DAV Schools Competition is the largest English-language debating competition in the world, with over 250 schools, 1400 teams, four grades, and 19 regions represented.

Our students performed brilliantly, with both teams winning all of their debates.

The Year 11 team of Caitlin Allman, Kathryn Northill and Corrine Harris defeated two teams from Girton Grammar (including a team of Year 12 students) while our own Year 12 team of Darcie Andrea, Elyse Moore, Brandon McInnes, and Kelly Phan (for the second debate) defeated Girton then Rochester Secondary College.

The topic for the first debate was “That we should open all international borders”, while the ‘secret’ topic for the second debate was “That all cabinet ministers should be selected from outside the parliament”. Students were given the topic one hour before the debate and then had that hour – in isolation, without internet access – to prepare.

BSSC English teacher, David van Es, believes the benefits of debating extend through all aspects of the school curriculum.

“More than just promoting confidence and effective public speaking, debating encourages logical and critical thinking, social awareness and an interest in current affairs,” he said. “It is multi-disciplinary and the skills students learn in debating can applied to all areas of life beyond their time at school.”

The best speaker honours went to Darcie and Corinne. Congratulations to all our speakers who performed with against the best young debaters in the Bendigo region.

“This was my first experience of debating,” Darcie said. “I got such a surprise when they announced the best speaker. It took a moment to sink in that I was the ‘Speaker Two’ they were talking about.”