On Tuesday night Echuca College won both divisions in the Apex Debating Competition at the Harvest Hotel taking out an impressive clean sweep of the competition. This competition, which has run over a number of years, pits the secondary schools in the Echuca, Moama and Kyabram area against each other in a series of formal debates. These debates are organised in a Junior and Senior division with speakers speaking for three minutes each and the final speaker speaking for five minutes. The Apex club sees these debates as an important annual event that allow students to develop high level communication skills and relationships with their peers.
In the junior division (years 7-9) Echuca College was up against Kyabram P-12. Kyabram had made it to the finals by beating the Moama Grammar team, while Echuca College had defeated St. Joseph’s team to make the final. The two junior teams debated that ‘regional public swimming pools are needed in small communities’ with Kyabram arguing the affirmative and Echuca the negative. Both sides were able to come up with great arguments ranging from cost factors to accessibility and water safety, but on the night the Echuca College team of Joni Grundy, Rhys Watson and Hannah Ayres were able to display a much more polished presentation and argument and were comfortable winners.
In the senior division Echuca College faced off against a strong St Joseph team debating that ‘consumers should be willing to pay more for local produce’. This was the second year in a row that these two schools had played off for the senior division, with Echuca College winning last year’s debate, and it was the fifth time in a row Echuca College had made the senior finals. Echuca College had the affirmative position and opened up with a well-argued position on the value of buying locally by Luke Judd. While St Joseph’s team were able to argue that cost and who actually owns the products should be taken into account. The Echuca College team of Luke Judd, Maegan Johnson and Sarah Kaddissi were judged the winners on the night wrapping up a very successful night for the school.