Years 7&8 Debating Challenge

Basic Information

Founded in 1998 with the support of the Centenary of Federation, this level of the competition originally emphasised the ability of students to research a particular area. In the first few years, these areas were predominantly Australian history and civics. Since 2001 topics have covered a wide range of contemporary issues of relevance to junior secondary students. The ten successful regional teams attend a three day championships camp, including workshops with some of the state's most experienced adjudicators.

Topic Areas and Completion Dates

Round / completion date

Topic area

Round 1 to be completed by Friday 26 May (end Wk 5 T2)


Round 2 to be completed by Friday 30 June (end Wk 10 T2)

The Media

Round 3 to be completed by Friday 18 August (end Wk 5 T3)

Australian Society

Rounds 4 and 5 to be completed by Friday 15 September (end Wk 9 T3)


Zone winners to be finalised by Friday 22 September (end Wk 10 T3)


Regional finals be held in November


Championships to take place from 29 Nov – 1 Dec and the University of Sydney




Announcement of Sponsorship

Masters AcademyWe are excited to announce that Masters Academy will be the Principal Sponsor of the Years 7&8 division of the Premier’s Debating Challenge for 2017-19 inclusive. 

Established in 2007, Masters Academy offers in-school debating and public speaking coaching services for NSW students as well as NESA-endorsed professional learning for teachers. Their website includes an impressive library of free teaching resources including PDF downloads and podcasts. 

The purpose of this 3-year sponsorship arrangement is to provide regional students with greater access to debating coaching and speaking opportunities. The funds will deliver additional debating opportunities to students in country areas and cover their travelling expenses when attending the state championships in Sydney.

2016 State Final

The 2016 championships took place at the Women's College, University of Sydney, from Wednesday 30 November to Friday 2 December. The tournament concluded with a state final between Merewether High School and Fort Street  High School, with Merewether successfully affirming the topic "That we should ban patents from smacking their children." Pictured with the trophy are the state champions (left to right): Leanne Corney (Teacher), Ella Simons, Evina Yadav, George McNamara, Mackenize Gilligan, Aleeyah Clifford.

2016 Merewether High 7&8 winners

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 in 2016.