Tenacious D-ebaters: VCE Debating Round Up

L to R: VCE Debaters Alex Mathews, Bridget Richards and Tealia Holmes, Y12

It is impossible to conclude the 2022 debating calendar without mentioning the amazing VCE Debaters. Most of this group started their debating journey when they were in Year 10, joining the Debaters’ Society of Victoria, alternatively known as the DAV, C-Grade competition. The team rallied together throughout the various lockdowns during 2020 and 2021, their coach’s long service leave, finishing their campaign with an assortment of awards and recommendations.

During Year 12 and the A-Grade competition, the Woodleigh Team has continued to compete and has been undefeated all year long, until the Quarter Finals which took place in week one at Wesley College. When I say defeated, this was an incredibly close score, and although the team was very disappointed the girls need to be highly commended. To make it this far in the DAV competition they have defeated many teams from other schools that have massive debating programs/reputations. They have become a force in the debating world.

Each member of the team has been awarded best speaker at some stage. Tealia was selected in Year 11 to train with the state team, Alex progressed to the Plain English Speaking Award State finals, and Bridget (after receiving multiple best speaker awards) was awarded a Swannie, placing her in the top 1% of A-Grade debaters in the Mount Eliza region.

I have really enjoyed working with this group. The core team - Bridget Richards, Alexandra Mathews, and Tealia Holmes, with additional members from Year 11, Gemma Churchill, and Ruby Reynolds - have been such a pleasure to work with. I have admired their tenacity and resilience and feel honoured to have been able to work with such a marvellous group of students.

Debating and Public Speaking Coordinator