• NSW Department of Education

Hunter Central Coast students debate with the best

Hunter Central Coast schools have claimed one first place and one runners-up place in the prestigious annual NSW Premier’s Debating Challenge.

Callaghan College Waratah’s debating team of four Year 8 students are state champions in the Stage 4 category, and Terrigal Public School’s senior team finished as runners-up in the Stage 3 category of the knock-out competition.

Waratah’s team of Tesla Moore, Rifah Shaeera, Emarehi Okhawere and Chelsea Young were coached by Teacher Librarian Brody Seferovic and Head Teacher Jessica Rose, and defeated Armidale Secondary College in the final, successfully arguing the negative to the motion that ‘Australia should boycott the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in China’.

Terrigal’s team of Coco Furniss, Abby Peterson-Hampshire, Sophie Semetka and Zoe Smith lost in a split decision to North Sydney Public School arguing the affirmative to the motion that ‘Primary school classes should swap their teachers around every week instead of having the same teacher all the time’.

They were coached by teacher James Ridley.

The principal of Waratah Campus, Hayley Macdonald said the end result was testimony to the hard work the students and Ms Seferovic had put in since the first round early in the year.

“Entering the Challenge and maintaining momentum through the year is a huge commitment,” said Ms MacDonald.

“We’re really proud of the team who’ve proved so diligent in their preparation for each debate, and so quick-witted and calm during the actual debates.”

Terrigal Public School’s principal Michael Burgess echoed Ms MacDonald’s sentiment.

“Public speaking is a difficult skill, but to combine it with formulating an argument and expressing that coherently on the run is at another level, and I can’t commend the team and Mr Ridley highly enough for their success this term.”

Pictured above: Waratah team, photo (l – r): Tesla Moore, Miss Jessica Rose, Rifah Shaeera, Ms Hayley Macdonald, Emarehi Okhawere, Mrs Brody Seferovic, Chelsea Young.

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