Somerset Times

Debating Opportunities



    Somerset Times Edition

    Week 2, Term One, 2019

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    We are delighted to offer a wider and more diverse range of academic and cultural extra-curricular opportunities to students this year. Active and dedicated participants in these activities yield skills and qualities that build further upon what we foster in the classroom – independence and initiative, self-management, leadership, communication, social skills, teamwork, advocacy, empathy, and perspective.

    Below is a summary of just some of the opportunities on offer in Semester One, with many more to come later in the year. Any students interested in pursuing any of the following activities are encouraged to access the sign-up form on the Performing Arts Schoolbox page, or contact College Debating Co-ordinator Miss Janie-Marie Burgess, at

    Gold Coast Debating Competition (year-long) is a three-on-three style debating competition in which Somerset College has enjoyed great success since its establishment over fifteen years ago. Students in Years 7-12 are encouraged to join, where they will receive the benefits of dedicated coaching and many externally-run development opportunities. The competition will this year, for the first time, lead its Open A Champions to a Queensland Regional Debating Final.

    Gold Coast Junior Council (year-long) is a student leadership and civic program that provides students with the opportunity to meet in a mock local council setting, elect youth council members, and debate the issues of their local community. This year, applications are open to Year 10 students wanting to join the two-year program that will see them through to the end of Year 11.

    UN Youth State Conference (22 to 24 February) is a three-day residential event run by the youth-affiliate to the United Nations Association of Australia. Their facilitators teach the attendees, over 100 Year 9 to 12 students from all over the state, about the function and role of the United Nations and the issues with which they deal – all through a series of workshops, discussion forums, and group activities. Queensland Youth Parliament (year-long) is a youth mirror of the Queensland State Parliament run by the local YMCA. Participants act as the youth-affiliate to their own state MP, and debate in Queensland Parliament House on bills they have drafted. In the past, some youth bills have been passed as real Queensland legislation! Students aged 15 years and over can make a difference with this opportunity.

    Rotary Model United Nations (MUNA) (23 March) is a single-day mock UN General Assembly, in which students represent a nation in teams and debate global issues. Students must speak from the perspective of their allocated country, and some resolutions are unseen until the day. Years 10 to 12 students may participate, and those who debate well on the day can be selected to represent the district at a National Final.

    Rostrum Voice of Youth (4 May) is a public speaking competition with a strong nationwide participation across Year 7 to 12 students. Students prepare speeches under broad provided topics, choosing a related idea about which they are truly passionate. There is an opportunity to progress through numerous local heats to state and national finals.

    Bond University High Schools Mooting Competition (May) is a mock legal trial conducted in the prestigious moot courts at Bond University. Year 11 to 12 students analyse a provided circumstance and previous civil case, and act as either the appellant or respondent in an appeal context. Successful participants proceed to a national final, where a scholarship to study law at Bond University is on offer.
    Bond University Model United Nations Conference (BUHMUN) (9 to 10 May) is a two-day conference in which Year 10 to 12 students both learn about and act as delegates of the united nations. Participants must submit ‘position papers’ on the allocated issues prior to the event, which will be considered as part of the judging process. This year, the university is also offering students the opportunity to act as ‘journalists’ for the event, recording interviews with ‘delegates’ throughout.

    Plain English Speaking Award (June) is a public speaking event with a focus on the integrity and power of the English language. Students partake in both prepared and impromptu speech presentations, and participation in this prestigious event is restricted to one Year 11 or 12 participant from each of the invited schools – one of which is now Somerset College.

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