On Wednesday 17 May, Deniliquin High School held the NAIDOC Public Speaking and Debating Challenge Workshop. This was an opportunity for the students who would be participating in the challenge to learn more about the topic. The topic for this year was ‘Our Language Matters’. Several schools attended the workshop. The debate topic was ‘Indigenous languages should be a part of our curriculum’. There were several people who presented at the workshop.
Karen is a local Wamba Wamba woman, who is employed by Yarkuwa Indigenous Knowledge Centre. Karen spoke about what the language means to her and also presented information about the Wamba Wamba/Wemba Wemba language revitalisation project. The project is about awareness and revitalisation of the local language, and about building and making available language resources for schools and the community. It is about recording what we know and discovering new resources for us all to share. It is also about preserving and protecting what we have and developing new uses for this resource across our community, such as a new name for the fish park in Deniliquin. The website to access the project is http://culture.yarkuwa.com.au/
Matt is a local Wamba Wamba man who is the Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer for the Department of Education. He spoke about the importance of language for himself, the community and future generations.
The Principal of Mayrung School spoke about the curriculum, what it is and how it is developed. This gave the students an insight into the topic for the debate.
Anne-Marie Hay & Jacqui Johnston
Teachers from Deniliquin High School spoke about techniques for public speaking and debating.
On Wednesday 21 June, the NAIDOC Public Speaking and Debating Challenge was held. The Public Speaking Challenge was for primary school students. Each team of two students had to write a four-minute speech about the topic ‘Our Language Matters’. Edward Primary School, Hay Primary School and Balranald Central School had teams. Balranald Central School won the Public Speaking Challenge.
There were three debates on the day and the topic was ‘Indigenous languages should be a part of our curriculum’. The first debate was between Hay War Memorial High School on the affirmative team and Deniliquin High School on the negative team. The second debate was between Balranald Central School on the affirmative team and Barham High School on the negative team.The final debate of the day was between Hay War Memorial High School on the affirmative team and Balranald Central School on the negative team. The overall winner of the Debating Challenge was Hay War Memorial High School.
The adjudicators for the day were Ms Robyn Richards, English Head Teacher at Deniliquin High School, and Matthew Daniels. They both did a fantastic job and the day would not have been a success without their participation. Mrs Kirk and the Year 11 Hospitality students catered for the event and the food was outstanding and delicious. The winners of the Public Speaking and Debating Challenge will now go on to compete at the next level in Albury later in the year.Story contributed by Glen Warren from Deniliquin High School. Published in 2017.