Somerset College saw great success at the Gold Coast Debating Grand Final evening this week.  

Our Year 7s participated in the Junior B Division, an adapted format competition that features six rounds. Somerset 4 received an award for placing in the top five teams out of 49 in the competition this year. 

In addition, the Junior As made it to their first Grand Final, debating the negative side of the topic ‘Community service should be compulsory for secondary school students' and taking out the win against Foxwell State Secondary College in an extremely competitive division. Abhiraj Sarmah, third speaker, was awarded ‘Speaker of the Night’, for his excellent skills. “It was a challenging yet rewarding experience!" he said. 

Furthermore, our Intermediate A team faced an equally challenging debate, taking the negative stance on the topic ‘Nations should intervene in other nations’ conflicts’. In their final debate of the season, the team kept up their undefeated record, winning in a unanimous decision over St Hilda's. Emmeline Anthony was given the award of ‘Speaker of the Night’ for her performance as second speaker.  

The showcase debate of the night took place between two teams from Queensland Academies Health Sciences Campus, drawing large crowds as the Intermediate and Junior teams awaited the announcement of their results. The controversial topic ‘The government needs to do a better job of managing pandemics’ generated high-level debate from both teams, featuring the best debaters in the competition. It was very entertaining and thought-provoking, and a great model for younger audience members.  

At the end of the evening, all the finalist debaters congregated to thank the Gold Coast Debating management team and adjudicators, as well as hear the highly awaited debate results. Following the announcement of individual results, the champion school was awarded, going to the school with the most teams to progress farthest into the competition. Somerset placed second – a mere two points off taking out the award – which was a testament to the success of all of our teams.  

Thank you so much to Ms Lynch for her unwavering commitment to debating at Somerset, as well as Alana, Kate, Montana, Nada, and Skye for coaching our teams this year. 

Intermediate A Division Champions 

Penelope Deacon 

Emmeline Anthony 

Anna Thomas

Patrick Liu 

Mical Ma 

Junior A Division Champions 

Tony Xia

Abhiraj Sarmah

Kseniia Igumenova  

Georgia Garlick 

Amy Chen (reserve)

Junior B Division Champions 

Ruhara Mapabandara 

Medha Potumuthu 

Maria Narizhnaya 

Alex Kilmartin 

Filippa Capone  

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