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July 13, 2014 | by  | in News |
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Vic Debaters Kick Aff

Victoria’s debating society has triumphed in the Australasian Intervarsity Debating Championships (Australs) over the break, winning the tournament along with speaker prizes.

Australs were run at the University of Otago this year, from 29 June to 7 July. 252 speakers from 84 teams across Australasia took part in the tournament, which was first run in 1975. It is the second-largest debating tournament in the world.

Vic 1, comprising Asher Emanuel, Jodie O’Neill and Nick Cross, won the Grand Final 8–1 against University of Sydney 2. The team successfully argued against the motion “that Western liberal democracies should take an active stance against religions.

Vic 1 broke first, meaning they were the top-ranked team in the tournament after eight rounds. Of the eight rounds of debate, the team won seven, only losing to the University of Sydney team who they would go on to comprehensively defeat in the Grand Final.

Individual speakers from Victoria were also very successful. Emanuel was named best reply speaker of the tournament and best speaker of the tournament, Cross was awarded best speaker in the Grand Final, and O’Neill came second-equal on the overall speaker tab.

Vic 2 (Daniel Wilson, Kimberley Savill, Nick Gavey) narrowly missed out on breaking to octofinals, with less than one point separating them from Monash 3, who broke in 16th place.

In 2013, the same Vic 1 team of Emanuel, O’Neill and Cross placed second at Australs, beaten by USU 2.

Victoria last won Australs in 2011, and is the only New Zealand university debating society to have won the tournament.

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