The Year 9&10 Debating Challenge, organised by The Arts Unit of the NSW Department of Education, dates back to 1950 when the Teasdale brothers donated a trophy for a debating competition between North Sydney Region Boys Schools. By 1979 the Teasdale Cup had expanded to include schools from Picton in the south to Wyong in the north. In 1982 it became a state-wide competition.
2017 State Final
In a competitive debate Smiths Hill High School came out victorious against Crestwood High School in the 2017 state final of the Premier’s Debating Challenge for Years 9&10. The debate was was held on Friday 10 November in the Everest Theatre at The Seymour Centre in Chippendale. This prestigious venue hosted an audience of almost 500 students, with a further 600 students participating remotely via a virtual excursion. The Smiths Hill High School team of Grace Mahon, Tom Behl-Shanks, Laura Charlton and Gemma Hedayati argued the negative to the topic "That non-violent offenders should never be sent to prison." They won the debate against Lavieen Uthayakumar, Himaja Dave, Charlee Sutherland and Paige Brosnan from Crestwood High School. The department and The Arts Unit congratulate Smiths Hill High School and Crestwood high School on being the last two teams standing from a starting field of 391.
The 2017 Years 9&10 Champion Smiths Hill team (left to right): Gemma Hedayati, Laura Charlton, Kerry Doyle (coach), Grace Mahon and Tom Behl-Shanks.
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 again to these debaters and everyone who made the competition such a success last year.