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Media Release

Jun 25 2010

UniSA sponsors school debating competition

Student talks at a debateThe University of South Australia has signed on as the main supporter of the South Australian Debating Association’s Schools Competition for the next three years (2010-2012).

The long-running competition involves approximately 1000 students from 30 South Australian schools, providing students from Year 7 through to Year 12 with a challenging and rewarding extra-curricular activity.

UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Høj says UniSA is proud to partner the South Australian Debating Association (SADA) in helping to bring debating competitions to schools.

“Debating is a valuable activity for students; it improves their public speaking, self-confidence, and research and analytical skills,” Prof Høj says.

“These attributes will stand students in good stead as they move into further education and professional careers.

“I wish all the students and schools participating in the 2010 competition the very best of luck and thank SADA, adjudicators, teachers and parents for their contributions to this valuable activity.”

With a strong tradition of school debating a part of many lawyers’ backgrounds, UniSA Foundation Dean of Law Professor Paul Fairall says he is delighted that a number of debating finals will be held at UniSA’s Moot Court at City West Campus.

“Moot Court provides an excellent teaching space for our law students to participate in the art of advocacy in a court-like setting and I’m sure it will be a great facility for the debating finals,” Prof Fairall says.

“Debating develops important argumentative and persuasion skills. These skills ultimately help students throughout their lives, especially in career paths that require this form of activity, such as law, marketing or politics.”

SADA President Genevieve Lewis says SADA looks forward to a long and successful partnership with UniSA.

“UniSA supported SADA for the National School’s Debating Championship in Adelaide last year and we’re extremely pleased this generous support has been able to expand into our schools competition,” Ms Lewis says.

Seymour College student Charlotte Thomas is excited about the 2010 debating season. Charlotte is currently ranked the third-best speaker in the world after competing in the Australian team at the 2010 World Schools Debating Championships in Qatar earlier this year.

“Debating is an opportunity not only to constantly learn about our world and society, and about the possibilities of argument, but to pursue something you are genuinely interested in,” Charlotte says.

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