A team of primary school students from Illawarra and South East are in high spirits after being named the Premier's Debating Challenge state champions - the first time the region has won in 17 years.
Wollongong Public School Year 6 student Halle Connors was in shock when they were announced the winners.
"It was amazing, and then we had to give our thank you speeches," she said.
"We were shocked because it had been three days but it went so fast."
The team completed seven different debates over the three-day tournament in Sydney's Northern Beaches.
The 10 teams in the tournament were chosen from a pool of 202 teams from the regional competition.
It was no easy feat for the Illawarra South East students, who were neck-and-neck against the North Sydney team in the grand finals on November 8.
The youngest member of the team, Angel King of Lakelands Public School, said their competitors were really good.
"At first we didn't expect to win since the other team were so good and they were like the team to beat the entire time," the 11-year-old said.
The team of five were each from different schools across Illawarra and South Coast, including Moss Vale, Goulburn South, Jamberoo, Dapto and Wollongong.
The grand final topic was "that kids in year 5 and above should have to have a paid job for one afternoon a week".
The Illawarra South East team debated against the idea while the affirmative North Sydney had to prove it was a good idea.
Angel said one of their team's arguments was that children would not be paid very much for their after-school labour.
"If you think about it, like teenagers get paid less than adults therefore the kids are obviously not going to be getting paid much," she said.
"Kids need to be kids and they don't need to be having a job when they're young."
There is no minimum age restriction for children to work casually or part-time in NSW, however children must be 17 or have finished Year 10 to work full-time.
Lakelands Public School teacher Erin Bubb said the fact that the students didn't know each other beforehand proves their great abilities.
"The win was really exciting at the end but the main thing was seeing a group of kids who didn't know each other get into this representative team and learn from the experience," she said.
Halle's father, John Connors, described the Illawarra South East team as the "underdogs" that brought home the winning trophy.
"The Illawarra South East side were full of character ... they just had one really good point after the other," Mr Connors said.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.