2021 has resulted in another highly successful year for QAHS Debating, with sixty students across twelve teams volunteering to participate in the Gold Coast Debating Competition, many of whom were completely new to debating. Seven QAHS teams qualified for the Finals series and four teams progressed as far as the Semi-Finals, with two QAHS teams making it through to the Debating Grand Finals, which took place at Bond University on Sunday 17 October.
Our talented Debating students were duly rewarded, with both QAHS teams who reached the Grand Final winning their respective Grand Final debates – an outstanding achievement! Furthermore, Year 11 student, Amelie Wilson, won the 'Best Speaker of the Debate' award for her performance in the Senior B Grand Final Debate.
Our congratulations go to the following 2021 Champion QAHS Debating teams:
|Intermediate A QHS 1||Senior B QHS 3|
Excitingly, because of the collective success throughout the Debating season of all the QAHS teams entered into the Gold Coast Debating Competition, QAHS was also awarded the prestigious 2021 Gold Coast Debating Champion School Award. This distinguished, sought after award reflects the commitment and dedication demonstrated by each QAHS student who chose to represent the Academy in Debating, this year.
Congratulations, QAHS Debating students, on a stellar performance in 2021. I have no doubt that Debating at QAHS will continue to thrive in 2022 and look forward to welcoming even more students to our Debating cohort, next year.
Below are some student reflections from members of the QAHS 2021 Grand Final winning teams, on their Debating experience.
'Over the last nine months or so, I have been participating in the Gold Coast Debating Competition for 2021. Debating has always been one of my passions, ever since I first learnt what a debate was in 2013. Over the years I have been a part of many different competitions at many different levels of competitiveness. This year, I decided to participate in another round of the local debating competition for both CAS and my enjoyment.
At the start of the season, we had a few hiccups regarding team arrangements; however, by the first debate, we had sorted everything out for the better. The first debate we participated in was a long preparation in which we emerged the victors. The next few debates, however, were different. We lost twice with the same adjudicator for both, but these debates allowed us to iron out our positions within the team and where we felt most comfortable speaking.
During the preliminary rounds, we had won two out of four of our debates which meant we had to participate in a tie-breaker round with another team to determine if we would move into the Finals series. If we won that debate, we would participate in the Quarter Finals the next evening, so stress was high! In the end, we won the debate convincingly and moved on to the Quarter Finals the next day.
The Quarter Finals were our first taste of a truly competitive and high-tension debate. If having two consecutive debates in two days wasn't enough, the topic was something that challenged our entire team's set of beliefs. However, we managed to pull through and continue our winning streak. The Semi-Final debate topic was yet another that we didn't agree with, and we also had to debate against a team that we had lost to in the preliminary rounds. However, like the Quarter Finals, we were able to secure our spot in the Grand Final Debate.
The Debating Finals were an extremely stressful event, with high tension across the board, for our parents, teacher and our team. Because we as a team had not participated in a debate for quite a few months due to postponements caused by lockdowns, we were all feeling a bit rusty and worried that our skills had taken a backward step. Despite our worries, we put our best foot forward and went on to create a cohesive and intelligent argument.
In the end, all our hard work paid off, and as we all walked up to the podium, I reflected on our humble beginnings and couldn't be prouder of how far we had come as a team.'
2021 Debating Reflection – Year 11 student Amelie Wilson
'The 2021 debating season was an opportunity for all of us to forge new experiences and make new friendships – from developing our oral presentation skills, to preparing speeches within both long and short secret subject time limits.
At the beginning of the season, we were practically strangers, only joining forces in order to meet the team size requirements. However, as the year went on, together we were able to conquer even the hardest challenges as a team. Although we had some setbacks, with quite a few hiccups and disagreements along the way, we were able to overcome them, and in the end emerged victorious. All-in-all it was an absolute pleasure to be offered the opportunity to compete in The Gold Coast Debating Competition this year, and we hope to do it all again next year.'
2021 Intermediate A Debating Grand Final Champions
Regina Hoare, Katya Gratchev, Tadhg Stuckey, Andrew McMath
Debating Coordinator and English Faculty