Archdale Debating Team wins
L-R: Shauna Sweeney, Senior School English Teacher; Judith Poole, Headmistress; Ella Jarman-Powis, Rosie Meares, Elizabeth Flaherty, Swatantra Roy, Melissa Li and Molly Scholes.
On Tuesday night, 6 September, Abbotsleigh celebrated two outstanding successes for our Archdale debating teams at the Archdale Debating grand finals.
Firstly, the Year 9 Archdale team won their grand final debate against St. Catherine’s.
Congratulations to the following girls who make up the Abbotsleigh team: Elizabeth Flaherty, Ella Jarman-Powis, Melissa Li, Rosie Meares, Swatantra Roy and Molly Scholes.
The topic for the debate was: ‘That there should be a minimum number of Indigenous Australians in the police force’ and our girls were allocated the negative case. Having found themselves on a difficult side of their topic, the team convincingly argued that given Australia’s history of judicial racism, a minimum quota of indigenous police officers would distract the government from combatting more serious issues confronting indigenous communities such as unfair legislation, high rates of poverty and lack of political representation. Whilst the team from St Catherine’s made some sound points, Abbotsleigh were able to prove that there were more effective ways to improve relations between the police and indigenous Australians than instituting a quota.
Whilst our Year 9 team came into the season with impressive rhetorical abilities, in the last few weeks they have strengthened their general knowledge and improved their construction of strategic cases. This has helped them to win debates in which they have found themselves arguing on difficult sides of the topic.
The Year 9 girls' win added points to Abbotsleigh’s tally and clinched the second success of the night, winning the highly contested Archdale Debating Shield.
‘You would expect to have a really serious and competitive team to verse for the grand final, but the St Catherine’s girls were incredibly friendly, outgoing and made us feel a lot less nervous. Both of the teams gave it our best shot, and we were ecstatic to hear that we had won. The win was great, but I most enjoyed the fact that both teams were in it together and that we supported each other, even though we were versing them,’ said Year 9 debater Ella Jarman-Powis.
'We love the valuable life skills that we acquire from debating and the fun we have with our team. We have learnt more about global world issues and the philosophy behind these issues and all our skills have improved as a whole,' said Swatantra Roy and Molly Scholes.
The Archdale competition is made up of seven rounds. Each of the 27 competing schools enters seven teams in the competition, these teams are grouped in age groups: Year 7 to Seniors. In 2016 the Abbotsleigh teams won all but two debates in the seven competition rounds resulting in all seven teams debating in the semi-finals. This was a very solid result and reflects the depth and hard work of each team. Congratulations go to all Archdale team members who collectively achieved this outstanding result.
The Archdale Debating team members for 2016 are:
Rebecca McKeague, Sarah Kelland, Chloe Le Couteur Niki Nojoumian Madeline Rogers, Abigail Coffey, Claudia Flannery, Winnie Yuan, Olivia Taylor, Ella Jarman-Powis, Rosie Meares, Molly Scholes, Elizabeth Flaherty, Swatantra Roy, Melissa Li, Rosie Fordham, Catrin Wood, Ilaria Calo, May Chit, Ayra Huda, Lizzie Brown, Claudia Elbourne, Kira Trahana, Hannah Yu, Olivia Hobbs, Georgina Conn, Olivia Hedley, Jemma Tran, Lucinda Johnston, Krisha Ghelani, Holly Yang, Leki Kuang, Mika Kato, Megan Luu, Ava Lambie, Madelina Gordon, Arienna Grebert.