On Wednesday 4th November our Year 11 History Debating team ended their season in the top 4 of the J.A. Thompson History Debating Competition. In a season that almost didn’t happen, the team performed well above initial expectations to reach the penultimate stage of the competition for the second year in a row. This extended their enviable record of having reached the Quarter Finals or better in all three seasons that they competed in the competition. So while they are of course disappointed that they missed their opportunity to compete in a Grand Final, they can hold their heads high that they have consistently performed at the highest levels of debating in the state in every year of History Debating.
After defeating strong competition in Roseville College and North Sydney Girls, they faced the same team from Tara Anglican School that knocked them out of the competition in 2019. It was somewhat eerie to note that it was on the same date this year as it was last year. Also like last year, it was an incredibly close debate that saw our team valiantly argue against the topic ‘That America has not learnt from the Salem Witch Trials’. Tara as the affirmative team had the enviable opportunity of setting the scope of this debate and used it to their utmost advantage. They introduced significant amounts of isolated legal cases to cast a shadow on America’s ability to learn from the mistakes of Salem. In a year of protest and, perhaps appropriately, on the same day that the most contentious US Presidential Election in history was being tallied, our team certainly had an uphill battle from the start.
In spite of all that was against them, the team of Ivy, Dekoda, Allison, and Erin brought forward a very strong case built upon a very logical criteria. Unfortunately, as is the case with many history debates, the team struggled to find adequate time to refute the opposition while still being able to establish their own case. It was very clear via the adjudication feedback that Good Samaritan had a stronger case but simply didn’t exploit enough opportunities to communicate that as well as they had wanted. Regardless of the result, I would like to take this opportunity to thank and congratulate the whole squad of Brianna, Damon, Lauren, Ivy, Erin, Dekoda and Allison for the countless hours they spent representing the College in History Debating over the past three years. History Debating requires so much more than regular debating because the students need to engage in what is essentially inquiry based learning for weeks. These students have long given service to the school via Oratory activities and have over time become exceptional leaders within the school community. They are in some ways, the heart and soul of public speaking and debating at the school and I wish them the very best of luck in their future endeavors in the field of oratory. I would also like to thank Miss Nugent for assisting me this year as her support and mentorship of the team was invaluable.
Mr M. Bradbury
History Debating Coordinator