HICES Debate Team

October 20, 2023  

On Thursday September 14, our Junior School Debating Team was involved in the Finals for the HICES Debating Competition. A total of fifty-six junior teams competed across the year. After eight incredibly challenging debates, the top two teams in each age division competed for the winning title. Jojo Huda (first speaker), Elias Ainbinder Satne (second speaker), Elise Cordaro (third speaker), Emily Clark (team advisor) and Madeleine Mackay (team reserve) represented The Illawarra Grammar School with pride, and were victorious in taking home the Junior Division championship for 2023. Elias Ainbinder Satne was also awarded the Best Debater title for the day in the Junior Division.

The topic was: “That we should limit human access to the Great Barrier Reef”, for which they represented the affirmative side. Our Junior debaters exhibited remarkable research skills and eloquence in their discussions, highlighting the importance of preserving our natural wonders. I am proud to have worked with such an impressive group of students over the year. Their debating skills have grown exponentially, and the maturity, knowledge, confidence and perseverance they displayed throughout each of their debates in truly inspirational. I am excited to see where there career in debating takes them in the future.

“We are very glad to have had the opportunity to debate this year. It was extremely exciting going through the process of getting our topics, researching, learning more about the world and then preparing for each debate by crafting our arguments and testing them. We are so proud that we were able to win the competition and leave our mark on TIGS in the primary school. My favourite part was making new friends over the year – I’ve gotten so close to all my team members. I’m looking forward to debating again next year!” – Jojo Huda

“I loved how fun each debate was. You never knew how the debate was going to go – so there was a lot of anticipation each time we heard the adjudicators analysis at the end. We had so much fun as a team and we really got to bond over the year. I feel we deserved this win – we worked so hard! We had so many after school meetings as a team (in person and sometimes even on Zoom) to prepare. We put in so many hours. I’m so happy to see all that work pay off. I’m definitely going to keep debating gin the future!” – Elise Cordaro

“Debating was really fun and eye opening. I learned a lot of skills over the year, and feel more capable in my persuasive skills. My favourite part of debating was getting to the grand finals because we got debate in person – all the qualifying rounds were over Zoom. It made the atmosphere more tense, but it was a good kind of tension. It made the entire debate more intense. I became really good friends with my team over the year and I am so happy that I can share this experience with them. Winning this competition meant a lot to me because it meant that all of our hard work over this year paid off, and it means that we are some of the top debaters out there. ” – Emily Clark

“I loved debating this year! It was so fun to go through these debates and refine my skills. I’ve learned how to structure proper, persuasive arguments and how to speak convincingly. My favourite part of this experience was working with my team, whom I grew very close to. I meant so much to me that we could win, because we tried so hard over the year and all that work paid off. It was an exciting experience from start to end!” – Madeline Mackay.

“I found debating fun – hard – but engaging and challenging. The preparation for each debate was my favourite part because we got to learn about things we normally wouldn’t in the classroom, and it made us think really deeply about complex issues. Our team worked really well together, and we were able to build on each other’s ideas to achieve success. That was, I think, what got us so far. Winning the Final really proved that our teamwork skills were exceptionally strong. I am really proud of what our team has accomplished. I was also really proud of myself for winning the Best Debater on the day – unexpected for sure! I know I did well, but I never thought I’d get such recognition. I’m going to miss working with my team on debates each week, but I am grateful for the rest now because we worked hard for three full terms. I will definitely keep debating in the future. ” – Elias Ainbinder Satne


HICES Speechcraft


Todd Woodbridge Cup