The high standard of debating at Ivanhoe Grammar School was once again recognised by the Debaters Association of Victoria with three students receiving Swannie Awards this year. The awards ceremony was held at Methodists Ladies college on Friday 12 October.
Three winners from Ivanhoe were announced in the Regional B Grade Division – Year 11 students Katherine Drummond and Amy Reddrop from Plenty Campus and Year 11 student Tom Salomon from The Ridgeway Campus.
These prestigious awards are awarded to the speaker in each region and grade who has the highest average speaker score after completing at least three debates during the year.
The schools competition had more than 10,000 students from 1500 teams representing 275 schools in 4 grades across 19 regions this year. Just 100 students receive awards from this massive pool of talented debaters.
Our student debaters are undoubtedly talented orators who not only enjoy the challenge of having to think on their feet but also the satisfaction of working as a team to produce a result. Two Swannie recipients reflect on the experience below:
Debating provides a great source of enjoyment due to the unique challenges presented in each debate. This year, in particular, the majority of our debates have been advised topics meaning we had just one hour to prepare an entire debate with only paper resources and no technology. Whilst some students find advised topics particularly difficult, due to the wide scope of knowledge within my team we were reasonably successful and ranked equal second in the Ivanhoe region overall.
I have always enjoyed debating as I love the pressure of basing an entire speech upwards of 6 minutes rebutting the opposition’s arguments on the spot. Not only does debating force us to both consider and argue perspectives that we may not agree with, but we have to work as a team in an effective way and use our knowledge to support one another.
Winning a Swannie tied with both Tom and Katherine meant a great deal to me, as we were rewarded for all of the stress, hard work and commitment that we have put into debating this year, and we will continue to debate in A-grade next year for our final year.
Debating is great because it challenges you to learn about lots of areas you don't normally think about. You are often forced to argue for something that you don't agree with but this makes you analyse the topic and think deeply about why you hold the views that you do. Of course, it also helps build your public speaking confidence which is useful in so many aspects of our life.
It's great to win this award but it's really a reflection of our whole teams work because debating is always a team effort. We had a great season and it's always a lot of fun.