Debating, Oratory, Mooting and Public Speaking

Learn more about our Debating, Oratory, Mooting and Public Speaking programs.

Debating and Oratory encourages students to build their skills of team-work, critical thinking, development of sustained arguments and spoken presentation. While oratory of course builds confidence and readiness for future careers and useful skills for boys to work on in order to more confidently perform the oral presentation assessment tasks required in many HSC and IB subjects, it is first and foremost a forum for boys to develop thoughtful and collaborative friendships. Debating at the College is conducted during Terms 1, 2 and 3. The boys participate in many different competitions, including the Independent Schools Debating Association (ISDA), Friday Evening Debating (FED), the History Debating Competition, the GPS Debating competition, the Bond University Mooting Competition, the Voice of Youth, the Legacy Public Speaking Competition, the Rotary Public Speaking Competition, Model UN, the Plain English Speaking Competition and the Lawrence Campbell Oratory Competition. Training runs throughout the week with debates held on Friday nights between 6 and 9 pm.

History Debating

History Debating combines the rigour and flair of debating with the depth of knowledge and accuracy required when analysing History.

In recent years, Newington boys have performed exceedingly well in History Debating winning the Les Gordon History Debating Competition Grand Final two years in a row.


The Bond University Mooting Competition is only open to Year 11 students. The premise of the competition is that an appeal is simulated on an error of law or an error of application of law to facts. Boys are given a set of facts and a case to which they use to argue their client’s case in front of a panel of judges. They are required to prepare written submissions – a summary of their arguments – and make oral submissions of up to 10 minutes to be presented to the panel. Any one of the judges on the panel can interrupt the speaker at any point in the presentation to interrogate him on a point of law or ask him questions. This means that mooters need an excellent understanding of the cases.

Public Speaking

We participate in a variety of Public Speaking competitions in order to give boys a chance to develop their skills over the year. Not only is there the school’s internal competition, but boys also participate in the Lawrence Campbell Oratory Competition, Plain English Speaking, Legacy Speaking and the Rostrum Trophy.