Chancellor State College shines in Fisher Schools Debating Competition

A team of three young women from Chancellor State College have taken first place in Sunshine Coast MP Andrew Wallace’s Fisher Schools Debating Competition, following a spirited night of engaging discussion. Lucy Gillespie, Mia Seefeld and Kate Frankish, all from Year 10, won over the Judges in the final debate, about whether Australia should raise the voting age to 21.

The event’s organiser Andrew Wallace MP congratulated all of the students who took part.

“With my Fisher Schools Debating Competition I aimed to help more of our local students to engage with important contemporary issues in civics, citizenship and governance. I was proud to see that on the night all of the students who came along showed not only that they are skilled debaters, but that they have thought deeply about some of the most important questions that we face as Australian citizens.” Mr Wallace said.

Individual prizes were also awarded by the judges to Sophia Chetcuti (Year 11) from Siena Catholic College for Most Persuasive Speech, and to Dale Caldwell (Year 12) of Meridan State College for Best Researched Speech. Lucy Gillespie from the winning Chancellor State College team was chosen for the ‘Andrew Wallace Future Parliamentarian Award’ for giving the most impressive overall individual performance.

“Young people are the future of our democracy, and on the evidence of this competition, the Sunshine Coast will be in good hands. The winning team will be helping me to put together a speech for Parliament on the topic of our final debate, and I can’t wait to deliver it in Canberra. I am sure that all of my Parliamentary colleagues will be very impressed with the talent we have here on the Coast.” he said.

The competition was judged by a panel of judges including Mr Wallace, former Member of the Queensland Youth Parliament Mote Dambo, and Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at the University of the Sunshine Coast Dr Shannon Brincat.

Mr Dambo said "I was exceptionally impressed by the arguments that many of the students made, and by the passion that they showed. I have no doubt that many of these students will go on to lead lives of influence and make positive contributions to society. Well done to all the students that took part!"

Eight teams of three from schools in the Southern and Central Sunshine Coast registered to take part in the competition, which took place at Kawana Waters State College last night. Speakers were given three minutes each to debate topics including whether dual citizens should be allowed to sit in Parliament, and whether Australia should become a republic.

Mr Wallace added “I want to sincerely thank all of the teachers and students who put in so much hard work to make the evening such a great success. All of them should be very proud of the performances they put in. They made for a fascinating, informative and entertaining night and gave us a difficult job choosing a winner. I am already looking forward to next year.”

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Authorised by Andrew Wallace MP, Liberal National Party, 11/10 Lake Kawana Blvd, Bokarina, QLD, 4575