The secondary SMGS Virtual Debating teams commenced their competition in week three with the Year 9/10 (A) team of Ruby Smith, Georgia Rumball, Emily Willsmer and Banjo Byrnes, debating Parramatta Marist College, with the Marist team all individually zooming in from lockdown in their homes for the debate. Being affirmative, the topical debate, that we should ban the Olympic Games in 2021 due to the Corona virus pandemic, initially puzzled the team during their hour of preparation, as the 2021 Olympics had been in progress for many days already. Despite that, SMGS (A) developed strong arguments presented in a logical manner which resulted in a win.

Building from that debate the team succeeded in their week four matchup against Trinity Catholic College of Lismore, arguing the affirmative case that nuclear energy is the future of electricity generation in Australia. Ely Frize who replaced an ill Ruby, was praised by the adjudicator for his assertive manner as he clearly argued economic reasons for the case. All team members benefited from both team and personal feedback from the adjudicator.

The Senior Year 11 team opposed Canberra Girls’ Grammar in their first debate in week three and it proved intense, with SMGS arguing the negative case for the topic that the Australian judicial system should have the power to revoke citizenship. The adjudicator clearly enjoyed the debate and demonstrated a background in this area of law from the extensive, detailed feedback given to both teams. While SMGS lost the debate Zani, Rowan, Ella and Hannah gained useful insights into this topic.

Keen to improve on their first debate the Senior Year 11 team took on Trinity Catholic College of Lismore, on Monday, week four, arguing the affirmative that local government should be able to ban coal seam gas mining. The adjudicator stated that the debate was really strong, with Zani as first speaker signposting her points effectively while Rowan as second speaker rebutted confidently and Ella competently concluded the team’s case. As fourth in the team, Hannah’s consistent rebuttal writing throughout the debate helped build the win for SMGS.

That doctors should be able to choose whether to treat smokers was the topic for the SMGS Year 8 team versus Trinity Catholic College of Lismore, on Tuesday, week four. In their second debate of the competition SMGS were negative and as the adjudicator stated both teams demonstrated good general knowledge linked to the topic. The SMGS team of Frankie Dennis, Will Broe, Olivia Roche and Jessie Frize were successful and they look forward to using the constructive, individual feedback given by the adjudicator in their next debate.