Debating is an extra-curricular activity currently offered at Glen Waverley Secondary College to students in years 9 to 12. GWSC competes in the Debating Association of Victoria competition, which is the largest debating completion in the world! Our students compete against students from public and private schools in the Glen Waverley Region.

Debating is a very rewarding activity. In general, participating in debating helps build student understanding of their identity, and develops skills that are useful for many school subjects and future careers. There are many benefits to being involved, which include:

  • developing confidence and self-esteem through better public speaking skills;
  • practising persuasive language and research skills;
  • being immersed in an environment where general knowledge and awareness of current affairs is highly valued;
  • building friendships with students who have similar interests at GWSC, as well as at other schools in the region.

Students participate in regular training sessions before the debates, to talk about the issues involved, work out how they will structure their arguments, and practice their speeches. Students also get plenty of help from their debating coaches, and their peers. Examples of topics that students have debated in the past include:

  • That we regret the influence of corporate advertising in sport
  • That we should fear the development of artificial intelligence
  • That we should ban examinations in schools
  • That the government should bail out large, failing companies
  • That Australia should dramatically increase its refugee intake

Additionally, students at GWSC partake in a range of extracurricular public speaking events, such as Rostrum Voice of Youth, VCAA Plain English Speaking Awards, Model United Nations and The DAV's British Parliamentary Debate. We have had the privilege of hosting the Plain English Speaking Awards for a number of years, and have welcomed students from various schools across the state to compete onsite. Each year, talent, craft, and ambition are on display as the students' presentation and improvisation skills are put to the test. Our students are actively trained in advocacy, collaboration, critical thinking and global citizenship; they are encouraged to conduct self-guided research, to share ideas with their peers, and view global and social issues from opposing perspectives. It is wonderful to see how students flourish and reinforce their confidence when they are provided with the platform to speak about topics they are deeply passionate about.