Australasian Intervarsity Debating Championships

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The Australasian Intervarsity Debating Championships (known colloquially as "Australs") is an annual debating tournament for teams from universities in the Australasian region. It is one of the world's largest debating tournaments, second only in size to the World Universities Debating Championship (WUDC), the European Universities Debating Championships (EUDC) and one of the largest annual student events in the world. Australs follows the Australia-Asian Debating format (three speakers plus replies), rather than the British Parliamentary Style used at WUDC. It is held every year in early-July under the auspices of the Australasian Intervarsity Debating Association (AIDA). The host university is selected a year before at a meeting of the AIDA Council.

Since the inaugural tournament at the University of Sydney in 1975, Australs has continually expanded the scope of its participants, now attracting around 300 competitors each year from around the Asia-Pacific region. Australs was significantly modernised in 1993 when a new constitution was introduced by then AIDA President. The Constitution provided for standard rules of debate and adjudication, and provided for extended voting rights for non-Australian and New Zealand participants. Currently teams come from Australia, Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and the Philippines.[1]

Prior to the inception of the AIDA in 1990, there were occasional problems with the administration and rule-format for Australs, as the running of the tournament was left to the host university, with a meeting of all Universities at the end of the competition. There was little ongoing supervision of the hosts, and adjudication standards varied widely.

In 1992 an affirmative action requirement was introduced to ensure that at least one third of each University's contingent must be female, unless the circumstances could be justified. This was prompted by the poor representation of female debaters at Australs. In 1990 only 8% of all speakers eligible to make the finals at Australasian championships were female, although women were over-represented as adjudicators. In 1991, the year before the introduction of the affirmative action requirement, the first women's meeting was held to discuss ways to combat the problem. At that time the participation rate had risen to 21%, with the introduction of a number of universities as first-time participants. Few women were represented in the finals, however. The intention behind the introduction of the rule was that it would encourage universities to promote debating to a large number of potential members and train their debaters before they attended Australs. It was also thought that this would encourage a greater diversity of speaking styles, rather than what was seen as a very aggressive style by a number of very successful and talented Australian male debaters, and this would benefit all debaters and universities.

The best speaker of the tournament is awarded the "Martin Sorensen Trophy", and the best speaker of the Grand Final is awarded the "Jock Fanselow Cup".

The current Australasian Champions are the Victoria University of Wellington.

Past champions and hosts[edit]

Year Champions Runners-up Hosts
2014 Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand) University of Sydney (Australia) University of Otago (New Zealand)
2013 University of Sydney (Australia) Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand) Universiti Teknologi MARA (Malaysia)
2012 Monash University (Australia) Monash University (Australia) Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand)
2011 Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand) National University of Singapore (Singapore) Chung-Ang University (South Korea)
2010 Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand) University of Auckland (New Zealand) University of Auckland (New Zealand)
2009 Monash University (Australia) Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand) Monash University (Australia)
2008 University of Sydney (Australia) Monash University (Australia) Ateneo de Manila University (Philippines)
2007 University of Queensland (Australia) Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand) Universiti Teknologi Mara (Malaysia)
2006 Monash University (Australia) University of Melbourne (Australia) Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand)
2005 University of Sydney (Australia) Ateneo de Manila University (Philippines) University of Queensland (Australia)
2004 Monash University (Australia) Multimedia University (Malaysia) University of Technology, Sydney (Australia)
2003 University of Sydney (Australia) Monash University (Australia) Multimedia University (Malaysia)
2002 University of Melbourne (Australia) Australian National University (Australia) University of Melbourne (Australia)
2001 Monash University (Australia) University of Melbourne (Australia) Nanyang Technological University (Singapore)
2000 Monash University (Australia) University of Sydney (Australia) Monash University (Australia)
1999 University of Sydney (Australia) Monash University (Australia) Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand)
1998 Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand) University of Sydney (Australia) University of Sydney (Australia)
1997 University of Sydney (Australia) Monash University (Australia) De La Salle University-Manila (Philippines)
1996 Monash University (Australia) University of Sydney (Australia) Australian National University (Australia)
1995 University of Sydney (Australia) Monash University (Australia) Monash University (Australia)
1994 Macquarie University (Australia) University of Technology, Sydney (Australia) University of Tasmania (Australia)
1993 Monash University (Australia) University of Melbourne (Australia) International Islamic University (Malaysia)
1992 Monash University (Australia) University of Sydney (Australia)
1991 Australian National University (Australia) Monash University (Australia) University of Melbourne (Australia)
1990 University of Sydney (Australia) Australian National University (Australia) University of Adelaide (Australia)
1989 Australian National University (Australia) Australian National University (Australia)
1988 University of Sydney (Australia) National University of Singapore (Singapore)
1987 University of Sydney (Australia) University of Otago (New Zealand) Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand)
1986 University of Sydney (Australia) University of Melbourne (Australia)
1985 University of Sydney (Australia) University of Auckland (New Zealand)
1984 University of New South Wales (Australia)
1983 University of Adelaide (Australia)
1982 Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand) Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand)
1981 University of Sydney (Australia) Monash University (Australia)
1980 Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand) University of Canterbury (New Zealand)
1979 University of Sydney (Australia)
1978 University of Sydney (Australia)
1977
1976 University of Melbourne (Australia)
1975 University of Sydney (Australia)

Future championships[edit]

  • The 2014 edition of the Australasian Intervarsity Debating Championships will be hosted in Dunedin, New Zealand.

The Martin Sorensen Trophy[edit]

The 'Martin Sorensen Trophy' is awarded to the best speaker of the tournament.

A prize recognising the tournament's best speaker was first awarded in 1989, however in 1994, it was renamed the Martin Sorensen Trophy in honour of the outstanding Monash University debater who died in July 1993 – only days after winning the award for the second time in a row.

Sorensen was considered to be the finest debater of his generation. In addition to being awarded the Best Speaker prize twice, he won the tournament twice, was a runner-up once, and was selected in the Australian Test team 3 years in a row. After his death, it was decided that the Best Speaker award would be named in Sorensen's honour to preserve his memory, and it is common for Australs debaters to be educated about his legacy even now, 20 years after his death.[2]

The Trophy is awarded to the debater with the highest total sum of speaker scores in the preliminary rounds of competition. It is considered to be the most prestigious individual award in Australasian debating.

Year Speaker University
2014 Asher Emanuel Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand)
2013 Daniel Swain University of Sydney (Australia)
2012 Chris Bisset Monash University (Australia)
2011 Elle Jones University of Sydney (Australia)
2010 Victor Finkel Monash University (Australia)
2009 Amit Golder Monash University (Australia)
2008 Naomi Oreb University of Sydney (Australia)
2007 Sayeqa Islam Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand)
2006 Elizabeth Sheargold University of Melbourne (Australia)
2005 Ivan Ah Sam University of Sydney (Australia)
2004 Mathew Kenneally Australian National University (Australia)
2003 Tim Sonnreich Monash University (Australia)
2002 Tim Sonnreich Monash University (Australia)
2001 Steve Bell University of Melbourne (Australia)
2000 Kim Little Monash University (Australia)
1999 Dan Celm Monash University (Australia)
1998 Praba Ganesan De La Salle University-Manila (Philippines)
1997 Chris Fladgate Monash University (Australia)
1996 Lizzie Knight
Phillip Senior
Monash University (Australia)
University of Western Australia (Australia)
1995 Christian Porter
Matthew Richardson
University of Western Australia (Australia)
University of New South Wales (Australia)
1994 Tony Burke University of Sydney (Australia)
1993 Martin Sorensen Monash University (Australia)
1992 Martin Sorensen Monash University (Australia)
1991 Julian Beckedahl
Rufus Black
Monash University (Australia)
University of Melbourne (Australia)
1990 Camilla Newcombe Australian National University (Australia)
1989 Richard Douglas Australian National University (Australia)

Jock Fanselow Cup for Best Speaker in the Grand Final[edit]

The best speaker in the Grand Final is awarded the 'Jock Fanselow Cup.'

Jock Fanselow was a debating legend in New Zealand and Australasia. Representing Victoria University, he won Australs in 1980, and 1982 – the first person to win Australs twice. He was best speaker in the Grand Final of both years. Unfortunately, ill health plagued Jock since birth and a suppressed immune system saw him contract a virus which led to his death in January 2006 at the age of 48. Jock's debating team mates, friends, and family donated a cup in his name and it was first presented at Australs 2006, held at Jock's home university, Victoria University of Wellington.

Year Speaker University
2014 Nicholas Cross Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand)
2013 Daniel Swain University of Sydney (Australia)
2012 Kiran Iyer Monash University (Australia)
2011 Udayan Mukherjee Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand)
2010 Stephen Whittington Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand)
2009 Amit Golder Monash University (Australia)
2008 Naomi Oreb University of Sydney (Australia)
2007 Sayeqa Islam Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand)
2006 Roland Dillon Monash University (Australia)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mulrooney, Paul (3 July 2006). "Students compete in war of words". Stuff. Retrieved 10 June 2006. 
  2. ^ [1]

External links[edit]