Debating encourages students to examine important and sometimes challenging issues in an environment of respect, involving reasoned discourse.

St Mary’s College has a long and strong tradition of debating.  For many years our debating teams have had success previously in the Queensland Debating Union Competition and since 2013, in the local APEX Debating Competition which commences in term one each year. We consistently field around four teams annually in the following sections: a Year 7/8, Junior (Years 9/10) and Senior (Years 11/12).  Debates are held at Ipswich Girls’ Grammar School on Monday evenings.

Debating involves the following skills:

  • Commitment to the requirements of the competition
  • Rigorous and critical thinking
  • Problem solving and innovative thinking
  • Synthesis of wide bodies of complex information
  • Effective communication
  • Pro-active independent research
  • Teamwork

The benefits for students of debating include:

  • Marked improvement in a wide variety of academic skills
  • Greatly improves reading comprehension
  • Become self-directed learners
  • Ability to think laterally
  • Capacity to quickly create logical counterpoints
  • Develops mental and emotional maturity
  • Recognition and evaluation of how others think
  • Improves cooperation and conflict resolution

Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress.” – Mahatma Ghandi