DAV School Debate Competition

With over two hundred and fifty schools, fifteen hundred teams, four grades, twenty regions, five rounds and a seven-night finals series, the DAV Schools Competition is the largest English-language debating competition in the world.   Registration for the DAV Schools Competition is now open, with first round debates taking place from February 24th.  We welcome participation from all high schools, whether public or private, and our focus is to make the competition as inclusive as possible, providing a welcoming but competitive environment for students to hone their skills and build their confidence. The competition is open for students in years 9 to 12 (if you are interested in debating for students in years 7 and 8, please take a look at our Junior Secondary Program). The DAV is also able to provide a variety of training programs to assist students prepare for the competition ahead. If you would like to book one of our experienced trainers please see our training services.

The competition is divided into 20 regions encompassing both inner and outer Melbourne suburbs, Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo. The format of the competition is Australian 3-on-3 style (see the Australia-Asia Debating Guide) – with three speakers to each team, debating over five rounds, spread across the year.  Students in years ten and above have the opportunity to debate a mix of prepared and secret topics (secret topics are announced only on the night of the debate), while students in year nine are introduced to the competition through a series of prepared topics.  At the end of the five regional rounds, eligible teams continue on into a six-night finals series.

The DAV also runs a number of debating programs and competitions for students in regional Victoria.  For more information about these programs, please take a look at our Regional Debating Programs.

For more information about the Schools Competition, feel free to contact Kim Hitchcock.

Why Debate?
Debating is an invaluable skill for students:

  • it promotes confidence and effective public presentation
  • it encourages logical and critical thinking, social awareness and an interest in current affairs
  • it is multi-disciplinary: debating techniques can be used in all subject areas.its benefits extend through all aspects of the school curriculum
  • it is well directed to address the “critical and creative thinking”, “ethical”, “intercultural”, and “personal and social” dimensions of the Victorian curriculum.

Click here to access our Schools competition resource guides. 2020 topics and resource guides will be released in Term One 2020.

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