Public Speaking & Debating | Thomas Hassall Anglican College



Public Speaking & Debating

Alongside other inter-school competitions, debating has a College-wide profile, given its importance in projecting the good reputation of the College and its students to other schools and the broader public. This results in broad recognition across the College for students who offer their time and commitment to debating, whether that involves competition, preparation or assisting in hosting competition rounds held at the College.


The skills mentioned, and the initiative shown by participation in co-curricular activities, are valued by potential employers of recent graduates in fields such as law, politics, communications, education, and others.

Defending the Faith

Public debates are an increasingly popular forum for robust interactions between Christians and non-Christians, whether non-believers or believers of other religions, concerning the rationality of the Christian faith. Students can draw upon a background in debating to take part in such apologetic activities later in life.

The Competitions

In the Senior School, we compete in both the HICES and MISA debating competitions.

HICES Debating
In 2023, there are three rounds before an extended finals series, meaning some teams would be finished their HICES season by mid to late Term 2, with those successful through the finals series progressing to the Grand Final day in mid-September.

The debates may run either during the school day or after school hours, in an online format. There are divisions for years 7 & 8 (Middle), 9 & 10 (Senior), and 11 & 12 (Open).

MISA Debating
The MISA competition runs during Sport on Tuesday afternoons. There are five rounds before a finals knockout series. Years 9 and 10 will compete in Terms 1 and 2, and Years 7 and 8 will compete in Terms 3 and 4.

Public Speaking
Students compete in a number of competitions throughout the year, such as the MISA Youth of the Year and MISA Public Speaking.

The Commitment

Students in the HICES debating competition will be expected to attend weekly training and preparation. This year, this will take place on Wednesdays during lunch.

MISA debaters are welcome to attend the weekly lunchtime session, but will also have preparation time during Sport on Tuesday afternoons.

Debating students also commit to additional preparation activities with their team in the lead up to a debate conducted on‐line, through such collaboration tools as discussion forums and tutorials on Canvas.

Throughout the year students will have opportunities to participate in training days hosted by the College or by local schools and universities.

Finally, they should check for notices through the Canvas debating course.