Smiths Hill High School students win Premier's Debating Challenge once again

CHAMPIONS: Smiths Hill High School's Premier's Debating Challenge winning team Gemma Hedayati, Laura Charlton, Kerry Doyle, Grace Mahon and Tom Bell-Shanks.
CHAMPIONS: Smiths Hill High School's Premier's Debating Challenge winning team Gemma Hedayati, Laura Charlton, Kerry Doyle, Grace Mahon and Tom Bell-Shanks.

It’s hard to argue the point, Smiths Hill High School students are very good debaters.

In fact, it would be hard to debate against the point that some of NSW’s best debaters come from the school.

Especially after Smiths Hill won the Premier’s Debating Challenge for Year 9 and 10 students last Friday.

The win over Crestwood High School in the final at the Seymour Centre on November 10 caps off a great year for debating at Smiths Hill High School.

In August, the school’s senior team won the Premier’s Debating Challenge Year 11 and 12.

The latest triumph was extra special for teacher Kerry Doyle, who was on hand when her team of Tom Bell-Shanks, Laura Charlton, Gemma Hedayati and Grace Mahon, argued the topic in the negative ‘’That non-violent offenders should never be sent to prison’’.

Ms Doyle said the school had a strong history with the Premier’s Debating Challenge, with Smiths Hill High School students appearing in the final four times and winning twice.

‘’Smith Hill High School has a long tradition in debating winning both the junior and senior categories over the years,’’ she said.

‘’This team is made up of a fabulous group of students who have been debating together since Year 7. They respect each other’s knowledge and abilities and work really well together as a team.

‘’They just love debating!’’

Ms Doyle and members of the school’s champion senior team mentored the latest Smiths Hill HS debating champs.

‘’The ability to speak and argue a point in front of an audience is a great skill for students to have,’’ Ms Doyle said.

‘’It will hold them in good stead when they head out into the world after school, whether it’s presenting or speaking in their chosen career/field or taking part in job interviews.

‘’It makes them more worldly and gives them a lot of confidence for the future.’’