Debating News

Senior A ISDA Report

To conclude the ISDA Debating Season, the Senior As contested a highly anticipated debate against St. Joseph’s College. The team of D. Chuchra (12He), K. Kwok (12WH), J. Perera (12La) and W. Martin (12WH) affirmed the topic ‘That the United States should persist with the Trump administration’s aggressive stance against China”. A fruitful prep time spent lamenting about the difficulty of the topic, the IB and our appetite manifested in the team choosing to address the topic from a multi-dimensional perspective, whereby we considered the impact on China, the United States, and the globe. 

Specifically, first speaker, Daksh attempted to characterise the human rights violations permeating China such as the abuses of the Uyghur people and how an aggressive stance by the United States could deter these atrocities. Second speaker, Keith, presented compelling rebuttal highlighting the contradictions in the negative team’s case which centred on the ideal that diplomacy would be a better solution and that an aggressive stance would exacerbate global tension, creating significant harm. Keith’s substantive focussed on the economic impacts of an aggressive stance wherein he used his significant IB Economics knowledge to evaluate the impact of tariffs and other trade protection measures. Special thanks should be directed to Mr Guy Dennis for teaching Keith this Economic knowledge, thereby preventing a vague explanation of these economic arguments, rather, enabling a didactic and ‘catchy’ rebuttal and substantive from Keith. Both third speakers presented analytical rebuttal to the oppositions main points and weighed the debate in their favour, with the adjudicator unfortunately agreeing with the negative side. Fourth speaker, Will presented a brief vote of thanks.

The adjudicator noted that our team holistically had excellent economic knowledge, particularly praising our explanation of economic theory, real life examples and our ability to provide a synthesised evaluation. As the economics teacher of Daksh, Will and I, Mr. Ikeuchi deserves praise for how his teaching has transcended the classroom.

The team would like to thank our coach, Mr David Keness for his dedication, teaching and mentoring, and we look forward to continuing our work with Mr Keness through the course of our final year representing Trinity. I would also like to thank Mr Christopher Taplin for the work that he has done in ensuring that this tumultuous season has run smoothly. Throughout this season there have been no technical errors, and in our ISDA pool, Trinity was the only school to have no postponements nor forfeitures and this is a testament to Mr Taplin’s efforts. Hopefully, this success continues into the final round of FED debating on the 30th of April, and I wish the debaters involved in this the best of luck.

While it was disappointing to end the season in a loss, the team has taken many lessons from this debate and the season, and continues to enhance their form, hopefully culminating in a tightly contested CAS season. Success in this season will largely be contingent on the approach and work ethic that is exhibited by the members of the Debating Society in the remainder of this term. Thus, I encourage all debaters to continue to display the dedication and passion that has been ubiquitous in the ISDA and FED seasons this year.

J. Perera (12La) | Captain of Debating

Year 7 ISDA Report

On Friday, 23 April the Year 7 ISDA team consisting of N. Figliuzzi (7Fo), E. Eswaran (7We), G. Kariatlis (7La) and B. Ashcroft (7Fo) battled against St Joseph’s College. We were debating on the topic that ‘Young children should be consulted on laws affecting them’. We as the affirmative team mainly argued that consulting with children to create laws that affect them will reduce crime rates in the future. The opposition based their whole case around a counter model rebutting this point by saying children are too young to understand laws affecting them and they are better off focusing on their studies. Fortunately for us, our arguments were stronger and therefore the adjudicator awarded us the win. We were all excited to finish the ISDA competition with a win.

G. Kariatlis (7La)

Year 7 FED-B Debating report

Last Friday, the Year 7 FED B debating team consisting of A. Re (7LA), H. Newman (7WJ), M. Nada (7SC) and J. Fudeh (7YO) challenged MLC School on the topic “That debating should be compulsory in schools”. Both our first and second speakers gave confident speeches that may be improved by providing greater detail into our arguments and model to provide a clear case for the adjudicator. Finally, our 3rd speaker delivered some strong rebuttals but ran out of time to summarise our team’s case. Whilst we did not manage to win on Friday against a good opposition, we have learnt that in the future we will need to focus on improving our time management in the preparation room to help us secure more victories for the team.

M. Nada (7SC)

Year 8 ISDA Report

On Friday night, the Year 8 ISDA team debated the topic “That young people should be consulted on proposed laws affecting them”. We, as the affirmative team argued that it gives the young people freedom of choice and speech, that it makes young people more interested in politics, and it will help us to create better laws for the betterment of society. Our model was that we would create a ‘young senate’ composed of 18–30-year-olds, to accept or decline proposed laws related to them. Overall, we won the debate, and our adjudicator feedback was that all three of our speakers explained our points well, but we could improve by having greater interaction with the other team’s points. Overall, it was a great end to the season for our team.

C. Ciarroni (8WJ)

Year 10 ISDA Report

After returning from the holidays, the 10 ISDA team had the topic ‘That Australia should boycott major sporting events hosted in countries with poor human rights records.’ 

With the Trinity team arguing in favour of the topic as the affirmative team, comprising of C. Kong (10La), W. Taplin (10WH) and V. Singleton (10WH) had to work around multiple logistical problems when approaching this complex topic against St Joseph’s College in the final round of the ISDA competition. Unfortunately, being one member of the team down, in preparation for the debate the efficiency of creating arguments was somewhat affected. Although, the three of us prevailed and created what we thought was an effective and strong argument going into the virtual debate. 

The model posed by Trinity was that if a country in the past 25 years had directly violated any of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Australia would boycott these sporting events from taking place in that country. We argued that Australia boycotting a sporting event would focus attention and scrutinise a country that is violating human rights. We believed that this was a step in the right direction in giving attention to those whose human rights are being violated in the country. Our model reinforced the ideology of countries ‘cleaning up their act’ if they wanted to hold these international sporting events, with many financial benefits creating a better overall society. As well as this, we questioned the reputation of the athletes and sporting organisations competing in these events, which were to be held in these human rights-violating countries. In accompaniment with the safety of the athletes when regarding different international laws.

On the other hand, St Joseph’s College argued that sporting events can bring unity and peace, how it was unfair for the citizens, the possibilities of international political tension and how sporting events can be an effective way to spread awareness of human rights violations. The opposition had mediocre rebuttals to our case, regarding how implementing our model would tarnish the whole connection between sport and peace. Whilst these points were strong in a sense, Trinity effectively rebutted these arguments on all fronts.

However, in a close decision, the adjudicator was convinced that our case showed a better solution to solving the issue of human rights violations and the overall fairness for the athletes. In the final round of the ISDA season, we won convincingly and although we just missed out on making the finals, throughout this season we have progressed a lot individually in our skills and confidence but most importantly as a team.

C. Kong (10La)

Year 10 FED Debating Report

Last Friday marked the beginning of the final stretch of the FED debating competition where the 10As comprising of L. Wingrave (10Ar), M. Bhandari (10Mu), T. La (10La) and myself, D. Eboli (10WH), were given the opportunity to debate in favour of the implementation of a sugar tax, a subject our team had both a strong interest and a moderate understanding of, against tough rivals, MLC.

Being given the affirmative side of the debate, we decided to approach the issue with a literal and direct perspective. If we were to implement a sugar tax, what would be the reasoning, how would we do so, how would its effectiveness be measured, and what consequences would a tax have upon our wider society?

Our case began with a substantial characterisation highlighting shocking obesity statistics, which helped form our instantly agreeable platform for why we need a sugar tax. As we progressed our case further, we introduced the matter relating to the money raised from the tax to subsidise the cost of healthier foods as a means of making them more accessible and appealing to people, with the intent being the relief of financial stress on the lower socioeconomic demographic, as a result of the sugar tax. Moreover, we were able to argue additional reasons why a sugar tax is necessary, including that it would encourage companies to reduce the amount of sugar in their products, and by doing so we could reduce the obesity rates in Australia. Finally, we concluded by recapping our model and linking it to our reasons as to why we need a sugar tax.

MLC focussed their case, primarily, upon the effects a tax would have on the lower socioeconomic demographic. This aspect of their case was the focus and was reasoned admirably by all three debaters of the negative. However, this was rebutted strongly by both Maanav and Trenton, pointing out to the adjudicator that our model would allow relief to lower socioeconomic demographics to purchase healthier foods at a lower price.

At the conclusion of the debate the adjudicator gave a precise description on the two main issues of the debate, whether taxing people in order to reduce health issues was more important than the economic effects, and he believed that we the affirmative provided a compelling case which argued these issues most effectively, and with the incorporation of our model it, helped deflect MLC’s criticism, giving the victory of debate to Trinity.

This outcome was favourable to us as we kept our hopes of advancing to the next stage alive. With one more debate left, it is a must win for us to progress through to the finals.

D. Eboli (10WH)

Senior FED A Debating Report

Last week on Friday afternoon, Trinity Grammar’s Senior FED A team teach paved its way to another smashing victory against MLC, further edging its way closer to knockout rounds. This continues their now 3 round long winning streak against the top teams in the FED competition after having similarly beaten Sydney Boys and Sydney Girls.

J. Sowmi (11We)


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