The Experiences of University Debating


The intervarsity debating tournament circuit is divided into two parts. The first half of the year is dedicated to Harvard format three on three competitions. My first tournament was the 2011 Australian Championships, or Easters, hosted by Adelaide University. Easters is a novice tournament. This means that every team must have at least one member who has not competed at international tournaments or have not debated at an intervarsity level before.

In the middle of the year I competed at Another Day at Melbourne (ADAM). This was a ‘mini’ tournament hosted annually by Melbourne University and open to teams of mixed or no direct university affiliation. Most universities have an annual mini.

After ADAM, I flew to Seoul in South Korea to compete at AUSTRALS, debating for ANU 1. This is the Australasian Debating Championships. It included teams from Singapore, Indonesia, New Zealand, Korea, Australia and the Philippines, amongst others. It was an astonishingly high quality tournament that demonstrated the quality of Australian debating on an international stage. It was also a wonderful social experience and travel opportunity.

Second semester marked the beginning of the British Parliamentary format half of the year. This involves four teams of two, fifteen minutes preparation and the opportunity to offer points of information. I am currently helping out with the administration of ANU Spring, the ANU’s annual mini.

John Goldie, Captain of Knox Debating in 2010