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University debaters crowned Austral champions - 14 July 2008

The University of Sydney Union's (USU) debating team Sydney 1 has defeated Monash University in a 6-1 decision at the grand final of the Australasian Intervarsity Debating Championships title (Australs).

The topic was 'That the use of guns should be limited to law enforcement agents' and Sydney 1 was on the affirmative.Sydney 1's case centred itself in the United States and its basic premise was that fewer guns would lead to fewer gun related deaths.

The winning USU team was made up of Julia Bowes, 2007 World Intervarsity Champion, Naomi Oreb, best women speaker at this year's World Championships and Steve Hind, a former World and Australs finalist and Schools Champion.

The USU sent six debating teams to Australs and set a new Australs record with all six USU teams qualifying, with the 1st winning all eight of their rounds and topping the table.

All six USU teams qualified for the finals and all but one of USU's adjudicators was selected to judge in the finals rounds.

"Everyone at Sydney University should be very proud of what our ambassadors have achieved," says Ruchir Punjabi, President of the University of Sydney Union.

However, an institutional cap that allows only three teams per University to debate in the final rounds meant three of USU's teams missed out.

"USU has outstanding teams of extraordinary young men and women and the institutional cap makes the results bitter sweet. However to have our two top ranking teams in the semis and then to win the grand final is a great outcome for the University of Sydney Union," says Alistair Cowie, Director of Student Programs who supported the contingent in Manila.

Australs began at the University of Sydney in 1975. It is one of the world's largest debating tournaments. Australs is second only in size to the World Universities Debating Championship, and one of the largest annual student events in the world.

Australs follows the Australia-Asia three-speakers-plus-replies format, rather than the British Parliamentary Style of 'Worlds'. Currently teams come from Australia, Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and the Philippines.

To find out more about USU debating, click here.

March 2012

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