The Western Australian Debating League aspires to ensure all students have meaningful access to debating that encourages critical thinking, fosters engagement with global issues, and equips students with lifelong skills and the confidence to pursue their potential. WADL aims to do this by ensuring all WA school students have access to challenging debating competitions, high quality resources, and purpose-built development opportunities.

WADL is the leading debating organisation in Western Australia, and the state's sole affiliate of the Australian Debating Federation. We host the largest high school debating competition in Western Australia, as well as other competitions and programs. WADL is also responsible for selecting the West Australian State Debating Team, which represents WA at the annual National Schools Debating Championship.

The draw for the Regional Schools Debating Competition has now been released. You can find the draw for both the Metro and Regional SDCs at

For announcements, updates, and some handy debating tips, head over and like our page.

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Make-Up Round 1 Draw

posted 2 Apr 2018, 23:18 by Russell Watt

The Draw for Make-Up Round 1 has been released and can be found hereMUR 1 will be held on the following dates:
  • Tuesday April 10 at Shenton College
  • Wednesday April 11 at Perth College
Please note that teams may not be debating at their usual debating time, or their usual venue for the Make Up Round.

Maps for each venue, including parking and debate room locations, can be found here. For more information about the MUR Draw, please contact Russell at


posted 1 Apr 2018, 22:17 by Jolie Hewitt   [ updated 1 Apr 2018, 22:21 ]

We're super excited to announce this year's WA State Debating Team!
  • Orla Latawski (Perth Modern)
  • Eliza Smith (St Hilda's)
  • Madi Hanlin (MLC)
  • Rana Ibrahim (Perth Modern)
  • Reserve - Oriana Morris-Johnson (MLC)
These students will be competing at the National Schools Debating Competition held in WA this May. A massive congratulations to you guys, and a huge thank you to all the students who participated in trials this year.

Response to article published in The West Australian Newspaper on 5/3/18.

posted 4 Mar 2018, 20:46 by Nic Camer-Pesci

The Western Australian Debating League aspires to ensure all students have meaningful access to debating that encourages critical thinking, fosters engagement with global issues, and equips students with lifelong skills and the confidence to pursue their potential. WADL aims to do this by ensuring all WA school students have access to challenging debating competitions, high quality resources, and purpose-built development opportunities. – WADL Mission Statement.



Dear WADL Community,


This morning an article was published in the West Australian Newspaper that referred to a topic set by WADL , “That we should fully legalise sex work”. When setting any topic, the WADL Technical Committee looks for issues that are relevant and thought-provoking, in order to encourage students to think critically about the world around them, and give students the tools and confidence to engage in important conversations.


All topics are subject to review under our “Policy on Contentious Topics”, with a specific window for this to occur being given after the draw release. There are two criteria used to asses controversial topics; firstly, whether the topics are included in the scope of the Australian Curriculum, and; secondly, whether a topic requires students to rationally and constructively discuss the premises or assumptions of a particular religious or ideological belief, rather than make a value judgement. This topic was deemed to satisfy both of the requirements.


Under the first criteria, there are two subject areas that cover the scope of this topic. The Civics & Citizenship Australian Curriculum requires students in year 9 and 10 to examine principles of the justice system (ACHCK078), whilst the Health and Physical Education Australian Curriculum requires students to ‘critique strategies to enhance health, safety and wellbeing in their communities,’ (ACPPS096) as well as ‘critique behaviours and contextual factors that influence health and wellbeing of diverse communities.’ (ACPPS098)


On the second criteria, this topic does not require a value judgment to be made on the morality of sex work. Rather, it requires a critical analysis of the legal approaches to making an industry safe,  and mechanisms to protect communities. It requires students to debate the strengths and weaknesses of Government regulation in industries, whilst analysing the impact on key stakeholders within the debate.


For these reasons, WADL continues to maintain its support for giving students the opportunity to debate such a topic. We believe that learning about topics such as this with facilitation and guidance from educators will allow students to develop a well-informed opinion about sex work in a safe and mediated environment.


However, this safe and mediated context is contingent on Coordinators and parents being able to facilitate such an environment. In order to mitigate the impact of strong ideological beliefs held by teachers and parents, where such an environment could not be fostered, WADL also chose to offer an alternative topic to any schools that requested a change.


WADL would like to thank all Coordinators who had input during the review process for this topic. We are pleased to have worked with your concerns to ensure that we can continue offering opportunities for your students to be challenged and stimulated  on pressing local and global issues.


Best Wishes,


Nicholas Camer-Pesci,

President – Western Australian Debating League.


State Team Squad!

posted 4 Mar 2018, 05:58 by Jolie Hewitt   [ updated 4 Mar 2018, 06:01 ]

A massive congratulations to the following students, who have been selected as members of the State Debating Squad!

Annabelle Muir (Presbyterian Ladies’ College)
Brierley O’Donnell (Perth College)
Dean Crowley (Albany Senior High School)
Eliza Smith (St Hilda’s Anglican School for Girls)
Felix Jones (Scotch College)
Luke Button (Eastern Hills Senior High School)
Madi Hanlin (Methodist Ladies’ College)
Michael Garas (Hale School)
Oriana Morris-Johnson (Methodist Ladies’ College)
Orla Latawski (Perth Modern School)
Rana Ibrahim (Perth Modern School)
Tahlia Hanikeri (Presbyterian Ladies’ College)
Vivian Tan (St Hilda’s Anglican School for Girls)

We’re so excited to work with the Squad over the next few weeks - stay tuned!

Thank you to all students who trialed today - it was extremely competitive and we were thoroughly impressed with all students.

2018 SDC Draw Release

posted 25 Feb 2018, 22:14 by Jolie Hewitt   [ updated 25 Feb 2018, 22:15 ]

You can now find the draw for the 2018 Schools Debating Competition at

2017 BP Competition Grand Final

posted 30 Sep 2017, 02:09 by Nic Camer-Pesci   [ updated 30 Sep 2017, 02:12 ]

Congratulations to all the teams that have progressed to the Grand Final of our 2017 BP Debating Competition! The Grand Final will be held on Tuesday October 17 at the UWA Law Faculty (a map of the venue and parking can be found below - free parking is available in UWA Car Park 3 which is accessible from Hackett Entrance 1 off Hackett Drive).

The Cygnets debate will be commencing at 7pm, with impromptu preparation commencing at 6:30pm. The Cygnets finalists are:
  • Bunbury SHS 1 (Norah Harkin & Kaitlin Myles)
  • Greenwood College 1 (Ann Cao & Cyrine Almodovar)
  • Perth Modern School 13 (Kelly Ng & Julia Aguinot)
  • Scotch College 1 (Sam Wake & Lochie Norcott)
The Swans debate will be commencing at 8:30pm, with impromptu preparation commencing at 8pm. The Swans finalists are:
  • Methodist Ladies' College 1 (Maddie Hanlin & Oriana Morris-Johnson)
  • Perth Modern School 1 (Maddie Hanlin & Oriana Morris-Johnson)
  • Scotch College 1 (Felix Jones & Lewis Orr)
  • St Hilda's Anglican School for Girls 1  (Eliza Smith & Vivian Tan)
There will be a short break between the Cygnets and Swans debate with light refreshments provided. We look forward to welcoming parents, teachers, and other debaters for what will be an excellent night of debates!

For more information, contact the BP Competition Convenors, James and Isobel, at

2017 BP Competition Semi-Finalists

posted 15 Sep 2017, 02:14 by Nic Camer-Pesci   [ updated 15 Sep 2017, 02:14 ]

With over 120 teams registered in this year's competition, this has been our biggest and most competitive BP Debating Competition in history! Thank you to all of the teams from WA who competed this year. The 16 teams advancing to the Semi-Finals are:

  • Bunbury SHS 1 (Norah Harkin & Kaitlin Myles) 
  • Bunbury SHS 3 (Efua Koomson & Saffron Graham) 
  • Greenwood College 1 (Ann Cao and Cyrine Almodovar) 
  • Hale School 1 (Chirag Tharakan & Michael Garas) 
  • Perth Modern School 13 (Kelly Ng and Julia Aguinot) 
  • Perth Modern School 22 (Jas Choo & Eve Gibbon) 
  • Scotch College 3 (Sam Wake and Lachie Norcott) 
  • Shenton College 2 (Edward Truong & Henry Freegard) 
  • Australind SHS 4 (Jasmine Sullivan & Ryan Tomazin) 
  • Bunbury SHS 6 (Clare Beyboer & David Strong) 
  • Eastern Hills SHS 1 (Luke Button & Juanita Hardwick) 
  • MLC 1 (Maddie Hanlin & Oriana Morris-Johnson) 
  • Perth Modern School 1 (Orlagh Lataswki & Jayden McGillivray) 
  • Perth Modern School 7 (Oscar Wilson & Clementine Smith) 
  • Scotch College 1 (Felix Jones & Lewis Orr) 
  • St Hilda’s ASG 1 (Eliza Smith & Vivian Tan) 
The Semi-Finals will be held at Shenton College on Tuesday September 19! The Cygnets debate will commence at 6pm, and the Swans debate will commence at 7:15pm. All students, teachers, and parents are welcome to attend the semi-finals.

For more information, please contact James and Isobel at

2017 Perth SDC Grand Final

posted 15 Aug 2017, 07:54 by Nic Camer-Pesci   [ updated 29 Aug 2017, 17:39 ]

Congratulations to all of the teams that competed in the 2017 Perth Schools Debating Competition Grand Final, which was held on Tuesday August 29 at the State Library of Western Australia. This was our largest Grand Final in many years, with over 400 people attending to watch debates across the night.

A special congratulations to the 2017 Champion schools:

Novice - Greenwood College (Best Speaker: Asmaa Hameed from Greenwood College)

Junior - Perth Modern School (Best Speaker: Rana Ibrahim from Perth Modern School)

Senior - Shenton College (Best Speaker: Natasha Tonga from Shenton College)

We look forward to seeing you at our 2017 BP Debating Competition or back again for a bigger and better season in 2018!

Semifinals Draw

posted 8 Aug 2017, 07:05 by Nic Camer-Pesci   [ updated 13 Aug 2017, 20:48 ]

The Draw for the Semifinals of the 2017 Schools Debating Competition has been released and can be below:
The Semifinals will be held at Shenton College on the 15th of August. Please check the draw for your scheduled debate time. 

Please note that the debates will be held in the Hollywood and Swanbourne Lecture Theatres at Shenton College, not the usual debate venues. Parking can be found in the main Shenton College car park of Stubbs Terrace.

For further information, contact Russell at

2017 SDC Finalists

posted 17 Jul 2017, 23:49 by Nic Camer-Pesci   [ updated 8 Aug 2017, 22:51 ]

Congratulations to all teams that have qualified for the 2017 Schools Debating Competition Finals!

The 2017 Finalists (for each Division) are as follows:

1 - Presbyterian Ladies' College 4
2 - Perth Modern School 14
3 - Iona Presentation College 3
4 - Scotch College 4
5 - Shenton College 10
6 - Shenton College 12
7 - Perth Modern School 16
9 - Perth College 2
10 - Mt Lawley SHS 2
11 - Perth Modern School 12
12 - Perth Modern School 9
14 - St Mary's AGS 4
15 - St Mary's AGS 1
18 - Christ Church Grammar School 5
19 - Methodist Ladies' College 2
20 - Methodist Ladies' College 5
21 - Methodist Ladies' College 6
23 - Greenwood College 1
24 - St Stephen's (Carramar) 1
25 - St Stephen's (Duncraig) 3
26 - Duncraig SHS 10
30 - Aquinas College 2
31 - Applecross SHS 4
32 - Applecross SHS 2
33 - Applecross SHS 3
34 - Perth Modern School 2
35 - Perth Modern School 5
36 - Carmel School 3
37 - Perth Modern School 4
39 - Guildford Grammar School 3
40 - Governor Stirling SHS 1
41 - St Brigid's College 1

1 - Christ Church Grammar School 5
2 - Iona Presentation College 2
3 - Perth Modern School 3
4 - Perth Modern School 15
5 - Christ Church Grammar School 3
9 - Perth Modern School 8
10 - Perth Modern School 1
11 - Perth Modern School 5
14 - Hale School 5
15 - St Mary's AGS 1
16 - Hale School 1
18 - Presbyterian Ladies' College 5
19 - Methodist Ladies' College 4
20 - Methodist Ladies' College 3
23 - Sacred Heart College 3
24 - Sacred Heart College 1
29 - Willetton SHS 2
30 - Fountain College 1
31 - Willetton SHS 2
34 - St George's AGS 2
35 - Perth Modern School 7
36 - Perth College 1
37 - Perth College 4
39 - Guildford Grammar School 1
40 - Guildford Grammar School 5
41 - Guildford Grammar School 3

18 - St Hilda's AGS 1
14 - St Mary's AGS 2
1 - Perth Modern School 12
4 - Christ Church Grammar School 1
20 - Scotch College 2
39 - St Brigid's College 1

1 - Christ Church Grammar School 1
2 - Scotch College 3
3 - Iona Presentation College 2
4 - Shenton College 1
9 - Perth Modern School 4
10 - Perth Modern School 2
14 - Hale School 9
15 - St Mary's AGS 4
16 - Scotch College 4
18 - St Hilda's AGS 1
19 - Methodist Ladies' College 1
23 - Sacred Heart College 1
29 - All Saints' College 1
30 - Wesley College 3
34 - Perth College 1
39 - Eastern Hills SHS 1

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