Years 11&12 Debating Challenge

Basic Information

The Years 11&12 Premier's Debating Challenge is the oldest competition of its kind in NSW. It began in 1930 with the generous donation of the trophy by Miss Hume-Barbour, a descendant of Hume the explorer. Initially only boys’ schools in the metropolitan area were eligible to enter; from 2001 the competition became statewide.

The competition, which is open to senior students in government schools, takes the form of one hour preparation debates with both sides having a choice of three topics. All teams are grouped into zones of four or five schools for the round robin level of the competition and after the zone winners have been determined the competition enters a knock-out phase.

Topic Areas and Completion Dates

Round / completion date

Topic area

Round 1 to be completed by Friday 31 March (end Wk 10 T1)


Round 2 to be completed by Friday 5 May (end Wk 2 T2)

The Media

Round 3 to be completed by Friday 19 May (end Wk 4 T2)


Rounds 4 and 5 to be completed by Friday 26 May (end Wk 5 T2)


Zone winners to be finalised by Friday 2 June (end Wk 6 T2)


Regional finals and state quarter finals to be held in June


State semi-finals to be held in July


State final to be held at the University of Sydney on Friday 4 August, 11.30am



2016 State Final

Congratulations to Sydney Girls High School, who were successful in the 2016 state final against Northern Beaches Secondary College Manly Campus, which took place on Friday 5 August in the Great Hall of the University of Sydney.

2016 Sydney Girls Years 11&12

(Left to right- Mouli Ghosh, Sophie Jaggar, Bronwen Kirk, Eden Blair)

You can see a list of past winners of the competition by clicking here, and you can watch the 2016 final below by either clicking play, or if you click on the title you'll be taken to Vimeo to watch the debate. There you'll have more options like being able to download the video or jump between speakers by clicking on their times. Congratulations to Sydney Girls and Northern Beaches Secondary College Manly, and to everyone who made the competition such a success.