The Forbes High School NAIDOC Debating Team have won the Western title for the second year in a row after successfully debating against Cowra High School in the final held in Dubbo on Monday 17 August.
The Forbes team consisted of 4 students; two who are Aboriginal and two who are non- Aboriginal. Year 10 students Madison Collits, Nic Mulligan and Jessy-lea Byrnes as well as Whitney Duffy from Year 7 had to debate the topic “that all sacred lands should be handed back to their traditional owners”. As per this particular competition, students
needed to prepare a case for both agreeing and opposing the statement, and then had the opportunity to present both cases at the event in Dubbo.
They first debated Lithgow High School using their affirmative case, announcing that they had moved onto the final against Cowra High School who the team had previously beaten at the Lachlan level of the competition. In the final, the students debated the negative case and ultimately convinced the adjudicators and the audience that their case was the strongest.
A special mention was made to Whitney Duffy of Year 7 who scored the highest and was announced as speaker of the day by the adjudicator. This is a fantastic outcome for Whitney considering she was up against Year 12 students. The team and teachers also thanked Paige Thomas from Year 8 who helped the team to win at the Lachlan level and wrote one of the speeches.
The Forbes students will now progress to the state finals to be held at Sydney Parliament House in November where they will defend their title as 2014 State Champions. While in Sydney the students will enjoy a cruise around Sydney Harbour and have dinner on Cockatoo Island. “This is quite an excellent reward for their hard work in reaching the State level of the competition,” Anita Morrison from Forbes High School said.