Sydney students take out debating world championship
5 January 2007
Two University of Sydney students have defeated teams from Oxford and Cambridge to become the world intervarsity debating champions.
The debaters, Julia Bowes (Arts Law II), a Women's College student,and Anna Garsia (Grad Law and 2006 Science Medallist), were yesterday crowned victors at the prestigious World Intervarsity Debating Championships held in Vancouver, Canada. This is only the second time in the 27-year history of the competition that a team of two women has won.
The debate topic, "That this house believes that economic growth is the solution to climate change", saw Sydney pitted against arch rivals Oxford and also Cambridge and Queensland University.*
Over 1200 debaters from more than 30 countries were represented at the annual competition. The University of Sydney ranked top of the table with five of their eight representative teams breaking through to the finals rounds. Four teams ranked in the top eight and two teams placed in the semi finals.
Alistair Cowie, the University of Sydney Union staff member responsible for debating, said: "It was a pretty intense couple of hours as we waited for the judges final decision. Oxford, with all their flair and history and tradition, are always the team to watch. We knew it would be a close call between them and us. I'm thrilled that all the hard work of the entire delegation has paid off. This is an outstanding result for Team Sydney."
Three of the University of Sydney delegation were also named in the top 10 speakers in the world: Chris Croke, Jack Wright and Patrick Meagher.
*The debates are in the British Parliamentary style with two teams per side, arguing for or against the motion.
Contact: Kath Kenny
Phone: 02 9351 2261