NAIDOC Public Speaking and Debate Challenge 2016

On 16 May, Deniliquin High School held a workshop for the NAIDOC Debate and Public Speaking Challenge, where schools were invited to attend to learn about public speaking and debating. Matt Daniels (Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer) and Fred Egan (a local Aboriginal Elder) spoke to the students about the topic ‘Traditional Songlines’ and what it means in the Aboriginal community. Students gained an in-depth knowledge about the topic, and ultimately this will help them on the challenge day. On Wednesday 1 June, a group of Aboriginal students painted boomerangs, which will be given to each school participating on the day.

On Wednesday 8 June, Deniliquin High School held the inaugural NAIDOC Debate and Public Speaking Challenge for the region. The topic for the day was ‘Traditional Songlines – The Living Narrative of Our Nation’. All schools in the region were invited to attend the event. Sofia and Kasey represented Conargo School and Michael and Lizzy represented Balranald Central School. All students did a fantastic job. The adjudicators for the day were Lauren Forner and Matt Daniels. Balranald School won the Public Speaking Challenge.

The debate was highly contested by Deniliquin High School representatives Bella Hammond, Zara Lindeman, Tiarna Condren and Thalia Ennor, who were on the affirmative team. The negative team from Balranald Central School were Chloe, Javen, Sam and Harrison. The debate was won by Deniliquin. This was the first time many of these students had debated, but it was very successful and they all did an amazing job, despite the nerves.

Several staff members from Deniliquin High School helped out with preparations, and on the day Ms Kirk, Ms Forner, Mrs Hay, and Mr Kiley provided the electronic equipment, Mr Jansen made the trophies that were designed by Mr Bradley and Mr Blake, and Miss Cramer and her Year 12 Hospitality students catered for the day. Overall it was a very successful day, and we hope to hold it again next year.

Story contributed by Tracey Page from Deniliquin High School. Published in 2016.