Combined High Schools Debating

Latest Competition News

Nominations for the Combined High Schools squad for 2021 are now open! This year we will be selecting a firsts, seconds and thirds team, and for the first time, talented debaters from rural areas are invited to try out for the squad!

How to apply - register interest and nominate a student by Friday 25 June

  1. Register your school's interest using this link to the TAU Community portal: 2021 Combined High Schools Debating Competition. Your principal will approve your application (there are some help guides below on  how to use the portal and nominate students). 
  2. Create a "CHS Debating – student nomination form" to provide student information. Regional students unable to attend the trial in person should also provide an audition video (upload the video to your chosen online drive and share the URL with us). You can submit a maximum of 4 students per school. Include any relevant speaking competition experience and awards/recognition in the biography. 
  3. Add The Arts Unit Community tile in Staff portal (My websites > Add to my essentials).

We encourage regional entrants to submit a video URL of the student delivering a prepared, impromptu, or debating speech of 6-8 minutes if unable to attend the trials in Lewisham. Students attending the Lewisham trial do not submit a URL but participate in 3 debates on the trial day. 

    Stages of competition

    • Governmnet school students are nominated by coaches and adjudicators and selection trials take place on Saturday 17 July from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm at The Arts Unit, corner of Toothill Steet and The Boulevarde, Lewisham.
    • Selected students participate in a series of coaching sessions.
    • The Combined High Schools representative teams then debate against representative teams from the CAS, GPS, and Archdale organisations in Term 3.
    • Firsts, Seconds and Thirds debates are held simultaneously in the evening at a host school. Social distancing restrictions permitting, parents and teachers are encouraged to attend.

    Rules of competition

    • Competitors must be from Years 11 and 12.
    • Teams are comprised of 4 members.
    • Speakers are to speak for 8 minutes with a warning bell at 6 minutes, 2 bells at 8 minutes and a continuous bell at 9 minutes.
    • The topics will only be disclosed, and agreed upon, immediately prior to preparation time.
    • Teams must prepare their debates within a predetermined time limit of one hour.


    Medallions and CHS ties are awarded to team members of the Firsts, Seconds, and Thirds. The NSW Representative Debating Cup is awarded to the champion representative team. 

    Help and support

    If you have any questions about CHS Debating, please contact Justine Clarke at or (02) 8512 1172. Please see the following quick guides to apply for CHS Debating:

    For any IT issues, please log a remedy request or contact