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Vic Uni to host 2006 Australasian Debating Champs

From Victoria University of Wellington Debating Society

For immediate release

Vic Uni to host 2006 Australasian Debating Champs

Best results for NZ teams since 1998

Victoria University Debating Society won the bid to host the 2006 Australasian Intervarsity Debating Championships (Australs) last week in Brisbane. Vic’s proposal defeated a rival bid from Universiti Teknologi MARA of Malaysia at this year’s Australs, which was hosted by the University of Queensland from 2 July to 10 July 2005.

It will be the first time New Zealand has hosted Australs since 1999, and the second time New Zealand has hosted in the 30 year history of the competition.

Australs is one of the largest competitions for university students in the world, attracting many of the Asia-Pacific region’s best and brightest minds to argue topics of social and political importance. It is the second largest debating competition in the world, attracting up to 400 participants from New Zealand, Australia and Asia – from India to the Philippines and from Japan to Indonesia.

This year New Zealand universities also recorded their best result at Australs since 1998. That year the tournament was won by Victoria University. This year the Victoria University A team of Christopher Bishop, Joe Connell, and Gareth Richards were ranked 9th after the preliminary rounds, out of the 75 teams at the tournament. They defeated Sydney A in the octo-finals, before being knocked out in the quarter-finals by the eventual winners of the competition, Sydney B.

The Otago University A team of Kate Wevers, Renee Heal, and Laura Fraser were ranked 15th after the preliminary rounds, and were knocked out in the octo-finals by Multimedia University of Malaysia A. The Auckland University A team of Jordan Ward, James Little and Desley Horton were ranked 16th after the preliminary rounds, and were also knocked out in the octo-finals, by Sydney B.

Kevin Moar, of Victoria University, was given the honour being one of the adjudicators for the Grand Final of the tournament In the final University of Sydney B defeated Ateneo de Manila A, by a margin of 8 judges to 1, arguing that Western nations should not restrict arms sales to democratic states.

The President of the New Zealand Universities’ Debating Council, Danie Beukman, said the results were “fantastic news for New Zealand debating” and reflected “the strength of domestic debating among New Zealand universities.

Kevin Moar, a veteran of 14 international tournaments, and who also adjudicated the Grand Final this year, said “The results show that New Zealand universities, and Victoria in particular, produce world-class thinkers and debaters. The 2005 Australs was the best performance by New Zealand teams since Victoria University won in 1998.”

There was more good news when it was announced that the next host of the Championships would be Victoria University of Wellington. Mr Beukman said that it was “wonderful news that the tournament was returning to New Zealand for the first time since 1999. It provides a great opportunity for us to show off Wellington, New Zealand, and university debating in New Zealand to some of the Asia-Pacific region’s most intelligent and influential leaders of the future.”

Christopher Bishop, who will convene the tournament next year, said that he was “looking forward to showing debaters from across Asia and Australia the wonderful city of Wellington.”

At this year’s Australs, topics debated included whether Japan should get a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, whether animated child pornography should be legal, and whether nations should pay for the return of hostages captured in Iraq.

Victoria University of Wellington Debating Society is proud to be the host of the Australasian Intervarsity Debating Championship in 2006. Victoria University Debating Society will be seeking support and sponsorship from companies and other organisations interested in reaching the smartest and most influential young people from across the Asia-Pacific region.

ENDS

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