College gets in the last word

By Lachlan Durling

ECHUCA College’s fast-talking and erudite students were crowned the winners in the Echuca-Moama Apex Club annual High School Debate competition.

Both the junior and senior debate teams took home the trophies after coming up against teams from Kyabram P-12 College, Moama Anglican Grammar School and St Joseph’s College.

In the final debate the Echuca College teams were up against Moama Anglican Grammar with the senior team petitioning the affirmative side for ‘should we import our food and fibre rather than using water from the Murray Darling Basin Plan?’.

And the juniors were opposing introducing quotas into parliament for equal male and female representation.

The three students in each team had a week to prepare their four-minute arguments for the initial heats on May 22 at Riverpoint 1703 and another week for the final heat with a different issue on May 29.

Echuca College teacher and leader of the debating groups Warren Duffy said he was proud to see the students’ efforts had paid off.

‘‘It’s a very good result, both teams worked very hard and so it’s great to see that pay off,’’ he said. ‘‘They had to write a four minute speech — essentially a 1000 word essay — and then think on their feet to rebut the other team.’’

Echuca-Moama Apex Club member Iain McCleary said the competition was fierce.

‘‘Apex aims to be a strong voice in the community and it’s good to see young kids coming through school who are such strong communicators,’’ he said.

‘‘The results were very close and it’s a credit to all of the schools, to see such bright and willing students coming through.’’