Burwood Girls High School

Not for ourselves alone

Telephone02 9747 3355


Debating and public speaking

Joining a debating or public speaking group is a great way to develop confidence and other life skills. Give it a go!


The coordinator is Ms Colette Cleary from the English faculty.

Being part of a debating team is a great way for students to enhance their public speaking skills, learn to argue a case logically and support it with relevant evidence, increase self-confidence as well as meet, greet and compete against other schools in the Sydney area.

The main competition offered at Burwood GHS is the Premier’s Debating Competition, organised by the Department of Education Arts Unit. There are also a number of other competitions and debating training days held by other organisations and by Sydney, Macquarie and NSW universities.

Joining a debating team

Debating is open to all students from Years 7 to 12. The number of teams varies from year to year depending upon the number of entrants. There are three ways students can enter debating competitions.

A debating meeting is advertised at the beginning of each year in the Daily Notices on the Sentral portal. At the initial meeting, the debating co-ordinator will place the names of the interested students on a list of hopefuls! The girls will be asked to prepare a speech on a topic of their choice which they then deliver at a subsequent meeting. Most of the girls who are interested in debating also have a natural aptitude for arguing a case in a civilized and convincing manner. Often junior students will have prior experience of debating from primary school competitions.

However, experience is not absolutely necessary as students can also join the debating team by expressing their interest to the coordinator. Teachers may nominate students who have the potential to be effective debaters.

Rehearsal days and times

Wednesday afternoons, 3:15 pm to 4:15pm, in Room 31 (Years 11 and 12), Room 30 (Years 9 and 10) or Room 13 (Years 7 and 8).


Most teams will take part in at least three debates prior to determining entrants in finals competitions during the school year. Many students have the opportunity to be an audience at the finals if not actually participating. Debates are occasionally arranged at short notice in which case teams will be notified individually. Permission notes will be handed out at school. Full school uniform is expected to be worn at all times.


Debating workshops are an opportunity to hone students' skills in debates with their peers. Workshops are supervised by teachers from the English staff and will run to a Week A, Week B schedule after school on Wednesdays. Week A workshops will be preparation for a debate during the Week B workshop.

On Friday lunchtimes, students meet in Room 31.

If you have decided to join, please complete permission to attend co-curricular clubs (PDF 159KB) form and hand it to the organiser.

Public speaking

The coordinator is Ms Kirsty Millar from the English faculty.

The Public Speaking Club is for any student in Years 7-12. Whether you want to compete or just develop your speaking skills, Public Speaking Club is a great experience for all students involved. Please sign up on the notice board next to Room 12.

If you have decided to join, please complete permission to attend co-curricular clubs (PDF 159KB), and hand it to the organiser.