Echuca College students Georgia Harris, Maegan Johnson and Sarah Kaddissi won the senior division of the Apex debating competition on Tuesday night. The girls put forward a well-argued debate to defeat St Joseph’s College in a close, and at times heated, debate. Echuca College had to take the negative stance on the prompt: ‘Stopping illegal immigrants from entering our country is more important than their welfare once they are here’, and were able to convince the judges that their argument was the strongest.

The Apex debating competition has been running for six years in its current format, and Echuca College has had a team in the senior division final the last four years in a row. The competition has two divisions; a junior division (made up of years 7-9) and the senior division (with students from year 10-12) and ran over two weeks with heats and finals a week apart. Echuca College placed a team in both divisions, with the junior team of Tom Harris, Leah Kempster and Hannah Ayres just narrowly missing out on making the finals.

Both teams had help before the event from a team of researchers who explored possible arguments and helped gather information for their teams. Joni Grundy, Bethany McKellar and Rhys Watson were valuable contributors to the junior team’s effort while Bethany Young, Nina Murphy and Emily Holmes helped the senior team in their efforts.

The debating teams can now look forward to the Northern Rivers competition that starts at the end of the month. This competition will have three divisions – a junior, an intermediate and a senior division – and will take in secondary schools from as far afield as Boort and Rushworth. Echuca College currently holds the senior title for this competition and with their strong showing in the Apex competition should enter this year full of confidence.

This is the second time Echuca College has won this prestigious event and the‘Cootes Family Perpetual Trophy’ in the last three years.