Debating delivers

Debating Coordinator Ms Kelli Smith reports on a host of successful and inspiring

performances at recent competitions by our College Street debaters.


More reliable than a rainy day in Sydney, the Sydney Grammar School debaters just keep on delivering the good news. Debating has continued to thrive with some great success in both the ISDA and Eastside Competitions. As well, we have had approximately forty boys involved in the social debating that takes place on a Tuesday and Friday afternoon. SCEGGS Darlinghurst have joined us for some social debates and we hope to continue this into the next terms, making for some excellent interaction with our Darlinghurst neighbours but also some great extra competition.


We had six College Street teams competing, with four making it through to the knockout rounds. The Senior B team, consisting of Sriram Badrinarayanan, Oliver Bardsley, Felix Greene and Kasra Roushan, went on a nine debate winning streak, losing only one and that was in the semi-final knockout round. They were a formidable team and took on a very difficult topic in the last round only to narrowly lose to the eventual winners of their competition, SCEGGS Darlinghurst.

L-R: The Senior A ISDA Competition winning team – Jack Glass, Toby Mok, Jack Story and Remy Sloan

Year 10

This team (Mark Bergman, Oliver Hoang, Jason Lin, Daniel Lloyd-Hurwitz, James Woo and Johnny Xu) have been unstoppable. This is the second year in a row that they have won the ISDA Competition and it seems that they are keen to do more! They are obviously articulate and can develop fearsome arguments whilst also adding a little bit of zesty humour to what can be some very dry debate topics.

Senior A

Jack Glass, Toby Mok, Remy Sloan and Jack Story took it all the way! Once again, there is no doubt that they are debaters of great esteem, but I think what makes this team particularly effective is the delightful camaraderie that you are witnessing as they debate. Their friendship is obvious, and this makes for a team that are super effective and really enjoyable to watch! It is not just me that thinks so, as Jack Glass, Toby Mok and Jack Story represented NSW at the Nationals Debating this year. Toby has been selected onto the Australian Team which is just so wonderful!

The Year 10 and Senior A ISDA Debating Competition winners 2022

The Form IV Eastside champs Anthony El Hassan, William Ellis, Arpon Karmaker, David Guo, Michael Hue, Hugo Sharkey (absent).jpg

The Form IV Eastside champs – Anthony El Hassan, William Ellis, Arpon Karmaker, David Guo, Michael Hue. Hugo Sharkey (absent)


Eastside also had six teams competing with two being the eventual victors of their competitions. The Year 8 team (Chris Choi, Ian Kim, Amogh Matade-Menon, James Rinder, Angus Windeyer and Arthur Zhao) debated ‘That educators should abandon the pitiful bully approach’ and were affirmative. The Year 10 team of Anthony El Hassan, William Ellis, David Guo, Michael Hue, Arpon Karmaker and Hugo Sharkey were simply outstanding as they affirmed the topic “That we prefer a world without the concept of unconditional love”. These were both very difficult topics so the teams are to be congratulated.

Social debating for Forms I and II continues to be very popular, with Mrs Angeloni and her coaches offering training on a Tuesday afternoon and then debates on a Friday afternoon. The debates are adjudicated by our coaches and often by our Firsts debaters as well, giving the boys fine feedback and ways to improve their skills. Additionally, we have teams from SCEGGS Darlinghurst join us on a Friday to debate. The teams are mixed and it is a great opportunity for both schools to meet new friends, listen to different points of view when prepping and then work together to debate. Hopefully, we will be able to grow this further in the coming years.

We hosted the Lawrence Campbell Oratory Competition this year which was an amazing night of interesting speeches! Whilst three topics were provided, most chose the following lyric from Leonard Cohen: “There’s a crack in everything – that’s how the light gets in.” Our candidate, Toby Mok, spoke with conviction and was impressive. All speakers from fifteen independent schools were amazing and we must acknowledge the skill it takes to be given just fifteen minutes to prepare for an eight-minute speech.

The victorious Form II Eastside debaters – Brendon Chen (coach) Angus Windeyer, Amogh Matade-Menon, Ian Kim, Arthur Zhao, Chris Choi, James Rinder

The Year 10 ISDA Competition winning team – Oliver Hoang, Mark Bergman, Jason Lin, Daniel Lloyd-Hurwitz, James Woo, Johnny Xu.jpg

The Year 10 ISDA Competition winning team – Oliver Hoang, Mark Bergman, Jason Lin, Daniel Lloyd-Hurwitz, James Woo, Johnny Xu

We had Toby Mok, Jack Story and Jack Glass selected as members of the NSW State Debating team and Toby Mok then represented Australia in the Australian Schools Debating Team. He debated in the World Schools Debating Championships which was run out of Amsterdam and meant that debates were held from 4-11pm each night. Toby is one of the top 35 school debaters in the world. A most impressive feat!

On Friday 9 September, we completed the GPS debating season and it was wonderful to have a full season of face-to-face debates. The argument gladiators of the classroom coliseums were again successful, with Sydney Grammar School sharing a number of premierships and winning the overall competition in an emphatic manner. Skills have been developed, arguments have been honed and mostly importantly, teamwork has flourished. We wish our retiring Form VI debaters every future success.