Members of the University of Wollongong Debating Society (SWORDS) have travelled to Victoria over the weekend to participate in an annual nationwide debating competition.
The Australian British Parliamentary Debating Championships (ABPDC), held at the University of Melbourne, saw more than 50 teams engage in at least six debates regarding a range of topics — from sector unions and the privatisation of mercenaries, to paper abortions.
Newcomers made up most of this year’s SWORDS team, with memberships almost doubling in the past semester. Member Angus Braiden said he was very proud of the growth and development of the club.
“Out of the 10 that were there, eight were in their first year of debating,” he said.
“I think everyone took it in their stride and really got into it – their performance in the circuit went off with a bang.
“This was our biggest contingent since last year’s Easters [tournament]. I was extraordinarily happy to be a part of it.”
First-year member Zac Morrell said his team significantly improved from their last competition, and overall, he was impressed with the group’s efforts.
Mr Morrell, who joined just eight weeks prior to the Melbourne ABPDC, said learning the British Parliamentary (BP) debating style – the national tournament standard – was a difficult learning curve for some of his fellow members, but made for a “fun transition.”
“There are more layers to a BP debate and more interaction between different parts of the group, whereas in the 3v3 debate, your piece comes and goes, and you’re sort of done,” he said.
“In a BP debate you’ve always got to be on top of it, always got to beware, always got to be reacting.”
Now, back in Wollongong, the SWORDS team will look forward to future tournaments, including their very own Minigong in late September.
At the end of 2023, four members will travel to Vietnam for the World Universities Debating Championships.