Youngsters come out victors in Great Debate of the Ages

It was young versus old on Wednesday as three teenagers battled some more mature opposition in the "Lord Mayor's Great Debate of the Ages".

Part of Wollongong City Council's Youth Week celebrations, the debate centred on a quote from fashion designer Vivienne Westwood: "The young need discipline and a full bookcase."

Edmund Rice College student Isaac Hayne said he and teammates Brooke Carmody, from St Mary Star of the Sea College, and Dimi Havadjia, from Smith's Hill High School, were pleased with the topic, because it gave both teams plenty of scope.

"We have our perspective in terms of what we're currently doing and they can reflect on what they've been through."

The teenagers argued the negative, while on the affirmative side were the "golden oldies", Wollongong councillor Ann Martin, University of Wollongong academic Ian Buchanan and PhD student Alex Breitsameter.

Both teams argued valiantly, responding to the quote in terms of education. The high school students reasoned freedom to explore, not discipline, was the key to learning. However, the older team suggested discipline need not be a bad thing, particularly self-discipline, and that a "full bookcase" referred to the importance of education.

But their argument was no match for the students' well-articulated rebuttals, and Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery declared the teenagers victorious.

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