Echuca College fielded three teams in the Apex debating competition held at the Harvest Hotel. The competition has been a staple competition for the College over the past five years with the College managing to make the finals of the senior competition every one of those years. This year the College was able to field a junior team and two senior teams.

The College’s junior team consisting of Joni Grundy, Rhys Watson, Hannah Ayres and researcher Annastasia Gadsden and they debated the affirmative “That tattoos are body graffiti”. Hannah Ayres spoke first and was able to set up the debate which was then reinforced by excellent arguments from Rhys and Joni. The junior team won the debate over a very classy St. Josephs team and will be debating in the finals this Tuesday night.

The College’s two senior teams unfortunately had to debate each other meaning only one team could get through to the final. The affirmative team of Kelly Gould, Alise Riley and Tom Harris debated “that the development of artificial intelligence poses an unacceptable risk to our humanity”, while the team of Luke Judd, Maegan Johnson and Sarah Kaddissi championed the importance of “AI” to the human race. In a very entertaining, and at times humorous debate, the two sides slugged it out with the negative case being declared the winner. This debate also claimed the two highest scores of the night and it is worth mentioning that this was the first time Kelly, Alise and Luke had competed in a debate – Well Done.

The senior team of Luke Judd, Sarah Kaddissi and Maegan Johnson will meet a very able St. Josephs team on Tuesday and try to claim back to back trophies for the College arguing the affirmative “that consumers should be willing to pay more for local produce”. The junior team of Annastasia Gadsden, Joni Grundy, Rhys Watson and Hannah Ayres will take on Kyabram arguing the negative “that regional public swimming pools are needed in small communities”.

The debates start at 6pm at the Harvest hotel on Tuesday 31st May and we wish both teams the best of luck.