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Speaking before an audience and presenting a convincing point of view, thinking on one’s feet and being able to grapple with challenging social issues is the essence of debating.

Students from AIA have a tradition of energetic participation in debating competitions which has developed over 22 years.

The Debaters’ Association of Victoria hosts one of the largest debating competitions in the world, with over two hundred and fifty schools and fifteen hundred teams. Students from AIA have attended this after school competition in teams based on year levels from Year 9 to Year 12. The standards are demanding and the verbal battles often intense.

Success is difficult to achieve but AIA teams have on several occasions topped the district league and progressed to the finals. Once at this level our students have competed equally with teams from what are regarded as the top schools in the State.

The Galway Association offers an additional venue for debating. This involves teams from many of the independent schools in the North West of Melbourne. Our success at this level has been recorded by several grand final victories at both Senior and Intermediate levels.

The topics selected for debate, where teams must prepare an affirmative or negative response, open up consideration of matters often discussed in the wider adult community. Issues such as the Environment, social welfare, crime and punishment and indigenous recognition allow students to become well informed and able to participate in these significant contemporary discussions.

Why Debate?

Debating is an invaluable skill for students:

  • it promotes confidence and effective public presentation
  • it encourages logical and critical thinking, social awareness and an interest in current affairs
  • it provides opportunities for teamwork and peer support
  • it encourages acceptance of diversity among students and people generally
  • it develops better time management skills
  • it is multi-disciplinary: debating techniques can be used in all subject areas.
  • its benefits extend through all aspects of the school curriculum
  • it is well directed to the "Communication" and "Thinking" domains of both the Australian Curriculum and the International Baccalaureate programmes.
  • It assists students to prepare for the oral assessment requirements of VCE and IB English.

Nabiha Mehri
Debating Coordinator