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- 2013 Winners of the Forest District Interschool Debating Competition -

From the loud cheering emanating from the returning students, it was evident that AGBU Alexander Primary School debaters had won! The Years 5/6 Debating Team returned home victorious on Wednesday 14 August, following the Final Debate against the Sydney Japanese School with the topic ‘New is better’.  

Mrs Meaghan Terrey was once again delighted to announce that her team had won with consistent debating technique, narrowly defeating a team with great flair. She reported how the team had delivered their arguments with drama and definitive firmness. Jessica Jelenkerian, first speaker, opened with an outline of the case, suggesting that just because something is new does not automatically make it the better choice. Jessica’s demonstrative delivery was a shining example to all would be debaters. Kevork Kachichian confidently took up the argument, making good rebuttals and driving the argument forward with strong points full of good examples. Ani Manoukian wound up the argument with more rebuttals, delivered with great conviction, sounding like someone at least twice her age and size. Christine Boyadjian, fourth speaker and expert listener, had the job of steering the team through rebuttals and was brilliantly well prepared for all possibilities in the argument. Mrs Terrey also stated that the team was successful in defending their title, because they were strong in ‘Matter’ (points presented) and ‘Method’ (team unity) and improved greatly in ‘Manner’ (public speaking presentation).

In conclusion, we are very proud of our team for once again being declared the Winners of the Forest District Debating Competition and bringing home the trophy for the ninth time in its history of seventeen years.

Defending Champions!

On Wednesday 14th August, with nervous trepidation, Years 5 and 6 travelled to the German International School to compete in the final debate against the Sydney Japanese School. The topic for the final was ‘New is better’. AGBU Alexander Primary School was on the negative. In class and at home, students worked hard to think of many arguments for and against the topic to prepare ourselves for the debate. Our caseline was that just because something is new does not automatically make it the better choice.

Our first speaker, Jessica spoke about how new medicines are not really ‘new’ as they are usually improvements on already existing medicines, plus they have to be ‘old’ after much testing before it can be released as a new medicine. She also pointed out that many foods do not have flavour if they have not been aged. For example, fruit needing a short while or years for wine and cheese. Her last arguments pointed out the amazing ‘old’ finds in archaeological digs, demonstrating that things were built to last and how antique furniture which are old things can be worth more than new furniture.

Kevork, our second speaker showed us that unfortunately some appliances are no longer built to last and are almost purposely made to break so that you must spend more money more often. He also spoke about how buildings constructed in the past have lasted, even thousands of years later, like the pyramids. His last point was that the new version is not always valued by people or the best option over something that is older.

All of our speakers, spoke extremely confidently and passionately which was pointed out by the adjudicators as they announced their decision.

Ani, our third speaker brought the debate together concluding that we strongly believed that just because something is new does not automatically make it the better choice. Therefore proving that the statement ‘New is better’ is certainly a false one.

This year the Forest District Debating Competition* was of a very high standard. Our final against the Sydney Japanese School was one of the most challenging debates of the season, with comments by the adjudicators that it was one of the best debates they had witnessed in the history of the competition.

*The German International School has joined the competition this year, which includes the Sydney Japanese School, Hamazkaine Arshak and Sophie Galstaun College, John Colet School and AGBU Alexander Primary School.

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