World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championships 2012
During the Easter holidays, Ankita Bellary and Tegan Baker, Year 12, and Georgia Collings, Year 9, participated in the World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championships (WIDPSC), held at Moreton Bay Boys’ College. Congratulations to these talented speakers who represented their College creditably amidst the pool of over 80 top class international competitors.
Ankita ranked 43rd overall and within the top 30 for Impromptu Speaking and Interpretive Reading. Georgia ranked 53rd overall, in the top 40 for Debate and Interpretive Reading, and almost made the finals for After Dinner Speaking. Tegan performed strongly in Debate and Persuasive Speaking.
To read Ankita’s full report on this challenging and rewarding competition please read the article below.
World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championships 2012 by Ankita Bellary, College Captain
While most MBC students were winding down for the beginning of the holidays, Tegan Baker, Year 12, Georgia Collings, Year 9 and myself were busy preparing for the World Individual Debating and Public Speaking
Championships (WIDPSC), held at Moreton Bay Boys’ College. This challenging and rewarding competition began with the Opening Ceremony on Thursday 29 March, where we met many excited (but jetlagged!) contestants from countries such as Lithuania, Hong Kong, Cyprus, India, Canada and South Africa. The Opening Ceremony featured an inspirational keynote speaker, Melbourne-based author and story-teller Archimede Fusillo. He spoke about his initial struggle with language and how he originally disliked speaking in front of crowds because English is his second language. He told us how he eventually overcame this fear, and why having an opinion and a voice is so imperative and important in today’s society. The delegates were warmly welcomed to MBBC by Ms Haynes, Mr Wood and Ms Williams and were entertained by one of the MBBC rock bands as well as MBC’s Vocal Point, who presented a stunning rendition of Waltzing Matilda. Close to eighty international students were then collected by their generous billeting families, including many from the MBC community.
The first discussion event took place on Thursday night in an ABC radio interview with Ms Haynes and some national and international contestants, including myself, about the WIDPSC as well as youth and politics. The official competition began on Friday 30 March and lasted until Tuesday 3 April. Sections included debating, persuasive speaking/after-dinner speaking, interpretive reading and impromptu speaking, which were judged according to strict criteria by adjudicators from all around the world. While the after-dinner topics were light-hearted, most debate and persuasive speech themes allowed us to consider serious issues such as child poverty, availability of quality education to all nations, how to reduce the road toll, the increasing prevalence of melanoma, the power and misuse of the internet, whether stricter punishment is the answer to juvenile crime and whether it is time for Afghanistan to govern without Western influence. We were able to thoughtfully explore these subjects from a broad perspective by listening to and working with our international peers.
However, it wasn’t just all work and no play. We also got to spend a day at Dreamworld, have dinner at Manly, sink our teeth into Yatala pies, relax during an afternoon at Coochiemudlo Island and spend the morning of the last day at Southbank. Perhaps the highlight, apart from the astounding grand finals, was the last night, which was spent on the Kookaburra Queen on the Brisbane River. It was a great night, where we dressed up, enjoyed a scrumptious banquet, talked, reminisced and hit the dance floor. Tegan, Georgia and I agree that we have met many talented, hilarious, inspiring and kind people from all corners of the globe; people that we hope to stay friends with for a long time to come. We have all learned so much about ourselves, the spoken arts and about different cultures and countries. We hope that current MBC girls from Years 8 to 11 take up the opportunity to compete in the Australian Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championships later this year at MBBC, as the spoken arts is a great gift that can be used to positively influence the world around us.
We would finally like to thank the MBC girls who assisted with timing and chairing some sessions; Ms Kuwert for her coaching work to help prepare us for the events; Mrs McNamara for all the hard work and commitment she has put into helping us during the competition and Ms Williams whose organisation, dedication and passion for the spoken arts allowed us to enjoy WIDPSC to the fullest. Hopefully there will be an MBC Representative at WIDPSC 2013, which is going to be held in South Africa!