Premier's Debating Challenge 2013
In the old sandstone building of the University of Sydney's Great Hall a lofty debate ensued between two teams from Penrith and Sydney Boys high schools. With its high ceilings, stained glass windows and portraits of former university chancellors looking on, it was a dignified occasion for the final of the Premier's Debating Challenge and Hume Barbour Trophy.
Both teams argued passionately the topic of the day 'That we should end the Northern Territory intervention' with Sydney Boys High being declared the winners.
Speaking competitions coordinator Lloyd Cameron said an audience of several hundred adults and students witnessed the thought-provoking and reasoned debate in which questions of equal treatment of groups from different backgrounds were tossed backwards and forwards as opposed to acting on behalf of a particular group.
"The adjudication panel was impressed by the maturity and depth of knowledge displayed by the school debaters," he said.
Mr Cameron said each team had won at least seven debates to reach the final. The two teams were the last standing among a total 170 that began the competition in Term 1.
The Hume Barbour Trophy, which is open to senior students in NSW public schools, began in 1930.
Sydney Boys High will have ownership for the year of the remarkable trophy depicting the Ancient Greek orator Demosthenes, the work of the noted sculptor Rayner Hoff.
The competition is supported by the University of Sydney's Education Faculty, the English Speaking Union and the Royal Overseas League.
Photo: Walking the talk ... Sydney Boys High debating team take possession for the year of the Hume Barbour trophy. Photo by David Lefcovitch.