Towards the end of Term 4, our 7A MISA Debating team had been anxiously preparing for their Grand Final debate against John Therry Catholic College. This team consists of Chaiyya R, Valentino S, Aurora F and Annalise E. In training, the squad had been practising their rebuttals and discussing their feedback from previous adjudicators. It was nostalgic for them in their last training session as they reminisced on their journey and considered how far they had come. “Remember when our speeches were only 30 seconds long!? Look at us now! Grand Finalists!”
On 30 November, the final stage of the MISA Debating Competition took place with our students arguing the affirmative for the topic ‘That we should all be vegetarians’. 7A were supported by a student audience of MISA and CSDA debaters from Years 7 - 9. The debate was ready to begin, with Chaiyya R as first speaker. As a passionate vegetarian herself, she opened the debate by expertly defining the topic and arguing the increased benefits of vegetarianism in the areas of health and climate change. She referenced a 2015 scientific study which proved that the protein in meat can be sourced through vegetables. A highly impressive example for a speaker of her age!
When it came time for Valentina S’s speech, the negative team had raised several concerns surrounding religious needs, financial implications, and the likelihood of nutrient deficiencies. Valentina’s rebuttals were highly effective, asserting that vegetarians can gain protein and B12 through substitutes such as nuts, beans and grains. She also managed to dismantle her opponent’s team line by pointing out its contradiction. Valentina proceeded to argue that a vegetarian lifestyle is not only ethically superior, but can lead to better heart health.
At second, the opposing team had argued that worldwide vegetarianism would cause job-loss and create a black market.Then, the time had come for Aurora to conclude her team’s case. She refuted that this black market idea was unrealistic, and that the job-loss could be rectified with increased employment in plant-based industries, thereby making an unemployment crisis unlikely. She closed by summarising the main points of her team’s case.
After third negative gave their closing speech, it was decision time. Every person in the room turned to the screen, hearts pounding, as they listened to the feedback. The adjudicator asserted that this was an excellent grand final debate, with impressive ideas and rebuttals from both teams. She suggested that manner, timing and palm card organisation can be areas for improvement, but was overall incredibly impressed with the quality she saw from our young speakers. She announced in the end that our opponents, John Therry Catholic College, were the lucky winners of today’s debate. Despite not being the Grand Final winners, the young speakers of St Patrick’s College still have a lot to be proud of as Runners Up of this prestigious competition.
Congratulations to Chaiyya R, Valentina S, Aurora F and Annalise E, for their wonderful achievements in MISA Debating. It has been a pleasure to watch each of them grow together in their first year as a team. Thank you to all students and staff present for their support of our debaters - it means the world to them to know that they have the support of their community behind them and we are ecstatic that our 7A team has come so far. Go St Pat’s!
Laura Bryant - Public Speaking and Debating Coordinator