House debating puts confidence on show

Posted 24th June 2016

“It takes one rogue leader to believe they are above the law but it only takes two to ruin humanity”. It came down to two points, out of a possible 300, separating Broughton House and Tyrrell House in the final of the senior school inter-house debating competition, staged in front of the whole school during normal Assembly time last week and adjudicated by the Headmaster Mr Murray Guest.

Both teams were extremely well prepared and persuasive in their arguments responding to the topic ‘That the new US President should engage with rogue leaders’.  Broughton, as the Affirmative team, cleverly tried to convince the audience “That the new US President should engage with rogue leaders” claiming that to “engage” is the first step to negotiating peace; “the pen is mightier than the sword”. However, Tyrrell sited lessons learnt in history to ultimately persuade the adjudicator; “those that don’t know history are destined to repeat it”.

Mr Guest said the topic was a challenging one but there was plenty of intellectual horsepower on both sides of the contest and it brought out the best in them,” he said. “Each of the speakers was well prepared, the teams structured their arguments beautifully and there was some clever rhetoric with Donald Trump receiving some predictable attention. Overall it was an expression of the growing strength of debating at TAS.”

Then in the last period of term the final of the Middle School competition was held in the Hoskins Centre in the presence of all of Middle School. Having each won two debates in their pools, Croft House and Ross House met to debate the topic ‘That Australia follows America’s example too much’.

With Croft as the Affirmative and Ross arguing against the proposition, debaters arced their cases, including reference to the US gun laws, the death penalty, constitutional system and the presence of US retailers, making efforts to support their respective team lines: “The USA? I say nay” and  “America may be home of the brave, but Australia is home of the original”.

In the end, adjudicator Mr Andrew O’Connell gave the debate to Ross, but praised all contestants for their clarity, voice modulation and confidence, particularly in speaking in front of such a large audience as all of their Middle School peers.

Next term the focus turns to the other part of the Clemson Cup, the inter-house public speaking.



Broughton’s senior debaters Jacob Hunt, Nicholas Bohlsen, Ziggy Harris and Angus Lloyd, Captain of TAS Speakers and finals chair Charlton Grant, and the Tyrrell team of Liam Donaldson, Charlie Wyatt, Jarrod Bourke and Brough Whibley took to the stage last week for a very close final of the senior inter-house debating competition



Colby Hanes was animated in the Middle School final