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mascot“I love argument, I love debate. I don’t expect anyone just to sit there and agree with me, that’s not their job.” – Margaret Thatcher (1925- )


Debating, affectionately known as a formal argument, is about developing one’s communication skills.  It is about assembling and organising effective arguments, persuading and entertaining an audience, and using one’s voice and gestures to convince an adjudicator that your arguments outweigh your opposition’s.

Debating is not about personal abuse, irrational attacks or purely emotional appeals.  Thus debating is a wonderful vehicle for boys to improve their public speaking and communication skills.  This has obvious benefits when making oral presentations as part of their assessment in school subjects.

St Laurence’s Primary students compete in the Brisbane Independent Schools Competition for Debating and Public Speaking. The Public Speaking competition is for Year 6 students while Debating is open to Year 7 students.

Debating in the Secondary at St Laurence’s is conducted under the auspices of the Queensland Debating Union.  This provides the opportunity for boys in Years 8 to 12 to participate in debates in teams of three during Terms 1 and 2.  If they are fortunate enough to pass through the preliminary rounds, the boys compete in the finals series during Term 3.

Ms Ruth Little is the Primary Debating and Public Speaking Coordinator and Dr Graeme Mellor is the Secondary Debating Coordinator.