Debaters Association of Victoria

The Debaters Association of Victoria (DAV) is a not-for-profit incorporated association, aiming "to facilitate effective debate in Victoria", Australia. []

The DAV was formed in the late 1920s after an amalgamation of pre-existing debating societies. It is the largest debating body in Australia and is the Victorian affiliate of the Australian Debating Federation. Its Schools Competition, in which more than 10,000 debaters compete each year, is one of the largest debating competitions in the world. The DAV also trains the Victorian Schools Debating Team and runs a variety of school-level debating programs including the Junior Secondary Program and a British Parliamentary tournament.

Beyond school-level debating, the DAV coordinates debating tournaments for adults and provides a range of debating services to the wider community, including adjudication and communication training.


The DAV is an association incorporated under the [$FILE/81-9713a062.pdf/ Associations Incorporation Act (1981 (Vic)] . It is governed by a board of 10 volunteers: President, Vice-President (Adjudication & Training), Vice-President (Schools), Treasurer, General Secretary, two Member Services Officers, Media Officer, Publications Officer and Immediate Past President.

There is in addition an office staff of three, consisting of an Office Manager, Schools Administrator and Training & Development Administrator. The Executive and staff are assisted by Regional Coordinators and a pool of more than 300 adjudicators.

chools Competition

The DAV Schools Competition is a debating tournament for high school students in Victoria. It is the largest single debating competition in Australia and one of the largest in the world. The competition was first run in 1956.

Teams of up to 5 members debate in 5 preliminary rounds within one of 20 geographically based regions; after the preliminary rounds, the highest-ranked teams in each grade in each region qualify for state finals, which involve up to 7 elimination rounds. Based on the Australasian Debating Format, the competition is 3-on-3, with no replies or points of information. There are four levels of competition, known as A, B, C and D grades, which generally correspond to year levels 12, 11, 10, and 9 respectively, year levels 8 and 7 are D grade. Debates are usually judged by a single adjudicator, who gives each speaker a mark between 68-82 and awards the debate to either the affirmative or negative team.

A full list of competition-winning teams can be found here. [] .

wannie Awards

At the conclusion of each season of the Schools Competition, the best speakers in each region and grade are recognised by the presentation of "Swannie Awards", named after notable Australian debater Alan Swanwick. A list of winners is available here. []

Other activities

The DAV has always run a variety of adult debating competitions. These currently run under the names of the President's Cup (a 3-on-3 competition run early in the year), and the Melbourne Mini tournament (a British Parliamentary competition run late in the year).

In 2000, the DAV first ran its Junior Secondary Program (initially known as the Year 7 & 8 Program). This is a non-competitive program of training and debates, run from August to October, open only to Year 7 and 8 students without experience in the Schools Competition.

In 2003, the first day-long Regional Schools Debating Program was run in Shepparton. Subsequent programs have been run in Bendigo, Mildura, Warrnambool, and Wodonga, and will also run in Horsham in 2007.

In 2005, the DAV inaugurated a Schools British Parliamentary debating competition, additional to the Schools Competition. In 2005, this competition was jointly won by Carey Baptist Grammar School and Scotch College [] . In 2006, it was won by Wesley College (Melbourne Campus), with Scotch College winning again in 2007.

Victorian Schools Debating Team

As the Victorian affiliate of the [ Australian Debating Federation] , the DAV is responsible for sending a Victorian team to the National Schools Debating Championships, a debating tournament held annually between the eight Australian States and Territories. A volunteer Coach and Assistant Coach select and train the Victorian Schools Debating Team.

The best debaters from the National Schools Debating Championships are selected to form the Australian Team to represent Australia at the World Schools Debating Championship.

The Victorian Schools Debating Team has won the National Schools Debating Championships four times, in 1983, 1998, 2001, and 2007. The members of the Victorian Schools Debating Teams since 1997 are listed below.

1997: Perth, Western Australia
*"Finish: Third"
*Ryan Batchelor (Melbourne High School)
*Vanessa Collins (Carey Baptist Grammar School) "Member of the Australian Team"
*Markus Fiebig (Yarra Valley Grammar School)
*Sarah Kennedy (Penleigh and Essendon Grammar School)
*Reserves: Sarah Weinberg (Tintern Girls Grammar School)
*Coach: Lizzie Knight
*Assistant Coach: Chris Fladgate

1998: Darwin, Northern Territory
*"Finish: National Champions"
*Vanessa Collins (Carey Baptist Grammar School) "Member of the Australian Team"
*Nick Gillard (Yarra Valley Grammar School)
*Perry Herzfeld (Melbourne Grammar School)
*Sarah Kennedy (Penleigh and Essendon Grammar School) "Member of the Australian Team"
*Reserves: Alice Saveneh (Flinders Christian Community College)
*Coach: Lizzie Knight
*Assistant Coach: Chris Fladgate

1999: Canberra, ACT
*"Finish: Fourth"
*Tess Fitzgerald (Mac.Robertson Girls' High School)
*Nick Gillard (Yarra Valley Grammar School)
*Nicolas Mackay (Carey Baptist Grammar School)
*Daniel Piccinin (St. Kevin's College)
*Reserves: None
*Coach: Chris Fladgate
*Assistant Coach: Kim Little

2000: Melbourne, Victoria
*"Finish: Runners-Up"
*Tess Fitzgerald (Mac.Robertson Girls' High School)
*Nicolas Mackay (Carey Baptist Grammar School)
*Daniel Piccinin (St. Kevin's College) "Member of the Australian Team"
*Elizabeth Sheargold (Mac.Robertson Girls' High School)
*Reserves: Tamar Heath (Mac.Robertson Girls' High School), Sarah Kemeny (Mac.Robertson Girls' High School), Will Ross (Carey Baptist Grammar School)
*Coach: Chris Fladgate
*Assistant Coaches: Sarah Kennedy, Cathy Roussow

2001: Sydney, New South Wales
*"Finish: National Champions"
*Tamar Heath (Mac.Robertson Girls' High School)
*Sarah Kemeny (Mac.Robertson Girls' High School)
*Will Ross (Carey Baptist Grammar School)
*Elizabeth Sheargold (Mac.Robertson Girls' High School) "Member of the Australian Team"
*Reserves: Ben Naparstek (Melbourne High School), Jeremy Alford (Carey Baptist Grammar School)
*Coach: Cathy Roussow
*Assistant Coach: Sarah Kennedy

2002: Adelaide, South Australia
*"Finish: Runners Up"
*Jeremy Alford (Carey Baptist Grammar School) "Member of the Australian Team"
*Tamar Heath (Mac.Robertson Girls' High School)
*Daniel Levan (St Kevin's College)
*Sarah Kemeny (Mac.Robertson Girls' High School)
*Reserves: Seamus Coleman (St Kevin's College), Ben Naparstek (Melbourne High School), Dylan Younane (St Kevin's College)
*Coach: Cathy Roussow
*Assistant Coach: Amanda Wolthuizen

2003: Brisbane, Queensland
*"Finish: Unknown"
*Michael Carne (St Kevin's College)
*Seamus Coleman (St Kevin's College)
*Daniel Levan (St Kevin's College)
*Ben Naparstek (Melbourne High School)
*Reserves: Natalie Devitsakis, Fiona Prowse
*Coach: Amanda Wolthuizen
*Assistant Coach: Michael Smith

2004: Perth, Western Australia
*"Finish: Sixth"
*Seamus Coleman (St Kevin's College)
*Natalie Devitsakis (Presbyterian Ladies' College)
*Daniel McNamara (Melbourne High School)
*Fiona Prowse (St Catherine's School)
*Reserves: Amit Golder, Vivienne Jones
*Coach: Michael Smith
*Assistant Coach: Elizabeth Sheargold

2005: Hobart & Launceston, Tasmania
*"Finish: 4th"
*Natalie Devitsakis (Presbyterian Ladies' College)
*Vivienne Jones (Mac.Robertson Girls High School)
*Daniel McNamara (Melbourne High School) "Member of the Australian Team"
*Nita Rao (Presbyterian Ladies' College)
*Reserves: Paul Annabell (Melbourne Grammar School), Kellymaree Butler (Mac.Robertson Girls High School), Nicholas Tam (Scotch College)
*Coach: Elizabeth Sheargold
*Assistant Coach: Jessica Moir

2006: Darwin, Northern Territory
*"Finish: 3rd"
*Kellymaree Butler (Mac.Robertson Girls High School) "Member of the Australian Team"
*Vivienne Jones (Mac.Robertson Girls High School) "Captain of the Australian Team"
*Nicholas Tam (Scotch College)
*James Wilson (Wesley College (Melbourne Campus))
*Reserves: Alexander Chapman (Melbourne High School), Bernadette Cho (Presbyterian Ladies' College), Oliver Coleman (St Kevin's College)
*Coach: Elizabeth Sheargold
*Assistant Coach: Timothy Jeffrie

2007: Melbourne, Victoria
*"Finish: National Champions"
*Chris Bisset (Brighton Grammar School)
*Kellymaree Butler (Mac.Robertson Girls' High School) "Member of the Australian Team"
*Minh-Quan Nguyen (Scotch College)
*James Wilson (Wesley College (Melbourne Campus)) "Captain of the Australian Team"
*Reserves: Jeremiah Leong (East Doncaster Secondary College), Sasha Lytas (Ballarat High School), Ben Needleman (Bialik College), Simon Youl (St Kevin's College)
*Coach: Elizabeth Sheargold
*Assistant Coach: Timothy Jeffrie

2008: Sydney, New South Wales
*"Finish: 2nd"
*Chris Bisset (Brighton Grammar School) "Member of the Australian Team"
*Kellymaree Butler (Mac.Robertson Girls' High School) "Captain of the Australian Team"
*Bebe Ahna D'Souza (Mac.Robertson Girls' High School)
*Minh-Quan Nguyen (Scotch College)
*Reserves: Ben Needleman (Bialik College), Allan Quanchi (Scotch College)
*Coach: Timothy Jeffrie
*Assistant Coach: Amit Golder

External links

* [ DAV official site]
* [ Australian Debating Federation]

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