Debating and public speaking are popular co-curricular pursuits

The College has a long tradition in public speaking and debating and these activities are offered to all Senior School students.


Debating encourages and challenges young people to engage critically and constructively with each other to explore the most controversial, pressing and age-old questions facing our society.

Students also have the opportunity to debate in the Combined Associated Schools (CAS), Independent Schools' Debating Association (ISDA) Competitions and Friday Evening Debating (FED), and debate socially with other schools. These competitions bring schools, students, teachers, supporters, coaches and adjudicators together for several hotly contested rounds of debating on Friday evenings.

Public Speaking

External competitions, such as Catholic Schools Debating Association (CSDA), Rostrum Voice of Youth, Plain English and The Lawrence Campbell Oratory, are entered each year.

In addition, an internal competition, The Art of Speech Competition, which has been held since 1947, requires all students in Years 7 – 10 to participate within their classes. Winning speakers progress to Year Group finals and finally to the Grand Final, watched by parents and friends, where they vie for The Richard Hockey Trophy.

Public Speaking competitions available to enter include:

  • CSDA Public Speaking – Years 7 – 12
  • Rostrum Voice of Youth – Years 7 – 12
  • SMH Plain English Speaking Award (Years 10 – 12)
  • Junior Legacy Public Speaking Award (Years 7 – 10)
  • The Lawrence Campbell Oratory Competition
  • The Art of Speech Competition