Debating and Public Speaking

Debating and public speaking provide our students with opportunities to develop their thinking skills and their ability to communicate in an articulate manner. Our programmes offer the chance to develop some of the most valuable skills that students can acquire at school.


Somerset College has a proud history of and success in debating. In the Senior School, the Debating programme consists of both competitive and non-competitive opportunities, to allow students to learn and develop the art of debating. The main competitive debating opportunities offered are the Gold Coast Debating Competition, Rotary Model UN (MUNA), Bond University Model UN (BUHMUN), and the UN Youth Evatt Trophy Competition. Leading up to these each year, the College engages in Inter-House Debating, the QDU Queensland State Debating Trials, and numerous scheduled inter-school and intra-school ‘friendly’ debates. 

Debating has the potential to enrich and elevate students on personal, cultural, and academic levels. Our students are taught how to engage with a diverse range of local, national, and international issues with unrelenting academic rigour. Usually working in teams, students debate topics ranging from climate change action to social welfare, often from perspectives inconsistent with their initial personal views. Through this process, their global outlook is naturally broadened, their appreciation for diversity is deepened, and their ability to emphathise is strengthened, shaping well-rounded and informed global citizens. Compounding these benefits is the development and refining of skills required in public speaking, teamwork, advocacy, and persuasion. 

Public Speaking and Mooting

Mooting immerses students in a mock legal case scenario, with participants acting as legal counsel for a fictional client in the exceedingly realistic moot courts of Bond and Griffith Universities. In addition to rigorous training in public speaking, teamwork, research and language skills, the Year 10-12 participants gain a specific education and experience in the real-world practice of law – the earliest possible opportunity for exposure to such experiences. Students learn not only to speak persuasively, but conversationally – to respond to questions from the moot judges throughout their submissions without breaking focus or logical presentation. The simulation helps students to see first-hand and appreciate the Australian legal system in all its diversity, protection, adequacy and inadequacy – helping to shape informed citizens, as well as young professionals.  

Somerset College enters the Bond University and Griffith University high schools mooting competitions each year, and enjoyed success as the Griffith High Schools Mooting Competition Champions in 2018.