The University of Sydney Union’s highly decorated debating team is gearing up to defend their title at this year’s Australasian Intervarsity Debating Championships held over a week from 2 July.
The USU will dispatch four teams of three debaters to Monash University, as well as three reserves to defend the Australs crown, considered the most prestigious debating tournament in the Asia-Pacific region.
As one of the most intellectually demanding in the world, the tournament is recognised internationally for its high standards of debating and adjudication.
In 30 years, The Australs has developed global appeal, regularly attracting up to 400 competitors from countries including Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, China, Japan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh and the Philippines.
The championships have a rich history of developing new generations of leaders and promoting innovative and critical thought, from varied international perspectives.
Competitors from across the region will tackle some of the most important and contentious issues confronting society, including politics, economics, religion, philosophy and the environment.
The final contingent was selected by Chris Bishop formerly of Victoria University, Wellington and Jess D’Souza, formerly of Melbourne University, after what they called an exceptionally high standard of debating in the trials.
In preparation, the USU team has been keeping a close eye on news and current affairs, regularly debating with each other and other teams around Sydney, as well as a trip to Melbourne University for a warm-up tournament known as ADAM.
As defending champions and holders of the World’s number one ranking, there are high hopes for the USU team going into this year’s Australs.
Steve Hind (Contingent Captain)
Rob ‘Cheech’ Chiarella
Pat ‘Slick Rick’ Bateman
Sriram (one name, like Madonna or Sting)
Paul ‘Presciently Presumptive’ Karp
Elle ‘Smell’ Jones
Dan ‘Svainzug’ Swain
Michael ‘I materialised after all’ Coutts