2020 Schools' Competition Topics

Year 5

All debates are Prepared Debates. Speeches of 3 minutes; warning bell at 2 minutes.

Round 1: That cats are better than dogs.
Round 2: That pets should be allowed on public transport. (see link)
Round 3: That home schooling is a poor replacement for school.

Year 6/7

All debates are Prepared Debates. Speeches of 3 minutes; warning bell at 2 minutes.

Round 1: That iPads, computers and tablets in primary school should be banished.
Round 2: That the Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake should be banned.
Round 3: That there should be plain packaging on chips and snacks.
Semi Final: That the banning of plastic straws, stirrers and cutlery in South Australia is a bad idea. (see link)
Grand Final: That ‘Spot’ the robot dog was a good idea. (see link)

Year 8

All debates are Prepared Debates. Speeches of 4 minutes; warning bell at 3 minutes.

Round 1: That digital tracking of children is good parenting.
Round 2: That humans could survive a Zombie Apocalypse.
Round 3: That traffic fines should be based on income.
Semi Final: That the Australian Government should buy the copyright of the Aboriginal flag.
Prepared debate. Speeches of 4 minutes; warning bell at 3 minutes.

Grand Final: That the Department of Planning Transport and Infrastructure should agree to the request from PETA. (See link)

Year 9

Rounds 1 to 4 are Prepared Debates.
Speeches of 5 minutes; warning bell at 4 minutes.


Round 1: That dumpster diving should be discouraged.
Round 2: That Caulfield Grammar made the correct decision. (see link)
Round 3: That a COVID-19 vaccine should be mandatory.
One Card Debate. View guidelines here Speeches of 5 minutes; warning bell at 4 minutes.

Semi Final: That the arrest of Zoe Buhler is outrageous.
Grand Final: That South Australia should increase its population. (See link)

Year 10

Rounds 1 to 3 are Prepared Debates. Speeches of 6 minutes; warning bell at 5 minutes.

Round 1: That Banksy is the leader of an art revolution.
Prepared Debate. Speeches of 6 minutes; warning bell at 5 minutes.

Round 2: That Shamina Begum should remain stripped of her UK citizenship.
Prepared Debate. Speeches of 6 minutes; warning bell at 5 minutes.

Round 3: Short Preparation Debate
The Short Preparation Topic will be released 90 minutes before the scheduled debate. View guidelines here
Speeches of 5 minutes; warning bell at 4 minutes.

Semi Final: That the cost of the COVID-19 pandemic is worse than the virus.
Prepared Debate. Speeches of 6 minutes; warning bell at 5 minutes.

Grand Final: That the law should treat social media companies as publishers.
Prepared Debate. Speeches of 6 minutes; warning bell at 5 minutes.

Senior


Round 1: That taking down statues is ‘a false rewriting of history’. Macron.
Prepared Debate. Speeches of 8 minutes; warning bell at 7 minutes.

Round 2: That giving 'Sophia' citizenship undermines humanity. (see link)
Prepared Debate. Speeches of 8 minutes; warning bell at 7 minutes.

Round 3: Short Preparation Debate
The Short Preparation Topic will be released 90 minutes before the scheduled debate. View guidelines here
Speeches of 6 minutes; warning bell at 5 minutes.

Semi Final: That Charlie Hebdo republishing the cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad is a commitment to free speech.
Prepared debate. Speeches of 8 minutes; warning bell at 7 minutes.

Grand Final: That there should be constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians.
Prepared debate. Speeches of 8 minutes; warning bell at 7 minutes.

Special Formats of Prepared Debates

Quodlibetical Topic

There are a number of issues that can’t be easily expressed in a one-line topic. Therefore you have been given a fictitious scenario, outlined by a few paragraphs, and a topic that is based on this scenario. The following should be noted:

1. The first speaker should not attempt to define the topic word for word, but rather should define the issue(s) or dilemma(s) that the topic presents.

2. It is this issue or dilemma that should be debated in an attempt to prove whichever side of the topic, i.e. feel free to debate the particular issue generally, but be sure to link it back to the topic as this is what you want to argue for or against.

3. There is no need for the first speaker to read out the initial paragraphs as the Chairman will do this before announcing the topic, however, any speaker may refer to these paragraphs as part of his/her argument.

4. Debaters are welcome and are encouraged to conduct further research on the issues presented but note that the scenario itself is often fictitious.