Weekly Highlight




Speaker’s Corner Junior E vs Knox8A


Topic: That we prefer a world where no one hide their current true emotional state from others.


Winner: Knox 8A  (Negative)


Speaker’s Corner began the debate strongly, arguing that an inability to hide emotional states would lead to more intense, mutual, and trusting friendships and relationships, and would especially expedite the resolution of conflicts and tensions in relationships. Additionally, they claimed that this would lead to earlier intervention and mental health treatment, and the de-stigmatisation of being open about emotions, especially in a counterfactual context of toxic masculinity forcing men to repress their emotions. In response, negative were able to land some solid and intuitive mitigation to the point about relationships, explaining that it is generally viewed as okay to hide some things, and that not all relationships need to be extremely close. More importantly, negative were able to flip the material about stigmatisation, explaining that the causes of people being afraid to speak out are external to the norm of hiding emotional states, and instead are things like patriarchy or people’s inherent desire for privacy. Negative’s main substantive push was then a defence of the utility of hiding emotions, especially in the most traumatic times, when people would be better off trying to continue their routines or distract themselves from their negative feelings, without – even well-intentioned people – asking invasive or tiring questions about the cause of their grief and suffering. This argument was more clearly explained, and had a much lower burden of proof than affirmative’s argument about mental health intervention, and so, in a close and exceptionally high quality debate, Knox were narrowly able to edge out Speaker’s Corner.




Abbotsleigh 12 vs Kambala Year 9 Red


Topic: That we prefer a world where excess wealth was considered shameful rather than admirable.


Winner: Abbotsleigh 12  (Affirmative)


Abbotsleigh begun the debate by making two clear substantive claims: that the shaming of excessive wealth would lead to an increased pressure for the ultra-rich to support charitable causes; and that counterfactually, excess-wealth being admired meant that people in the working class felt frustrated and disheartened about their financial status, making their daily work lives more meaningless and less rewarding. Kambala’s key claim in the debate was that the motivation to attain excess wealth was an important driving force in society, motivating investment, innovation, and general hard-work. They claimed that without this, economic growth would have been considerably diminished. At the end of the debate Abbotsleigh were able to win for two reasons: firstly, although both teams made speculative arguments about inequality and growth, Abbotsleigh weighed theirs more intuitively and highly, showing that even a small increase in equality had huge impacts; and secondly, Abbotsleigh’s argument about the psychological impact of this norm – although smaller in scale – was the most certain impact in the debate, and went largely unresponded to, which tipped the balance further in affirmative’s scale.