Years 9&10 Debating Challenge

Basic Information

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.

Topic Areas and Completion Dates

Round / completion date

Topic area

Round 1 to be completed by Friday 12 May (end Wk 3 T2)


Round 2 to be completed by Friday 2 June (end Wk 6 T2)


Round 3 to be completed by Friday 23 June (end Wk 9 T2)


Rounds 4 and 5 to be completed by Friday 21 July (end Wk 1 T3)


Zone winners to be finalised by Friday 28 July (end Wk 2 T3)


Regional finals and state quarter finals to be held in August and September


State semi-finals to be held in October


State final to be held at DoE Offices, Bridge Street on Friday 10 November, 11.30am



2016 State Final

In a competitive debate Sydney Girls High School came out victorious against Merewether High School in the 2016 state final of the Premier’s Debating Challenge for Years 9&10. The debate was was held on Friday 11 November in the Williams Wilkins Gallery of the NSW Department of Education. The Sydney Girls High School team of Ashna Hegde, Indigo Crossweller, Vivian Zhu and Sophie Ohlin argued the negative to the topic "That citizens should get to vote directly on important social changes alongside federal elections." They won the debate against Rosanna Gately, Harry Su, Lucy Witherdin and Callum Donnolley from Merewether High School. The department and The Arts Unit congratulate Sydney Girls  and Merewether on being the last two teams standing from a starting field of 384.

2016 Sydney Girls Winners

(Left to right- members of the Sydney Girls team- Ashna Hegde, Sophie Ohlin, Indigo Crosweller, Vivian Zhu)

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.