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The Australian Intervarsity Debating Championships (known colloquially as "Easters") is Australia's largest debating tournament, held each year over the Easter period. The tournament has a focus on developing novice debaters who have not yet debated at the Australasian or World Universities Debating Championships. The first major Inter-varsity tournament of the year, Easters follows a three-speakers without replies debating style in preparation for the Australasian championships which include reply speeches. Debaters give 8 minute speeches and there are no reply speeches or points of information.

Contents

Overview

The first Easters tournament was held in 1990 by the Australian National University with Simon Banks was the Convenor and Clayton Long the Chief Adjudicator. These two had been instrumental in hosting the Australasian championships at the Australian National University the previous year and used the surplus funds left over from that tournament towards this novice tournament. At that stage the tournament was a one-off but under the auspices of the newly-formed Australasian Intervarsity Debating Association (AIDA) and with the support of the Monash Association of Debaters, Monash University hosted the tournament in 1991 and the tournament's future was secured. Easters was an important tournament in the development of AIDA and a more unified and progressive Australian debating community. Prior to that the Australasian championships was typically dominating by a few of Australia's oldest universities and/or by speakers who had come through the Australian Debating Federation National Schools team. There were few women and most speakers had attended private schools prior to attending university where they had been given debating training. There was little opportunity for many university debaters to obtain valuable experience before turning up to the more competitive Australasian championships where inexperienced speakers or teams from universities who were breaking into debating would often be comprehensively beaten by more experienced debaters.

Due to the novice nature of the tournament, experienced debaters ensure a high standard of adjudicators. Initially there was a requirement of one "novice" debater per team, novices being those who have never debated at an Australs or Worlds. That requirement has since changed so that each team must have two novices, and a novice is not allowed to have debated at more than one easters.

In 1992 an Affirmative Action requirement was introduced to that one third of each University's contingent must be female. The change was introduced by the then AIDA Women's Office Catherine Dunlop with the support of AIDA President Simon Banks (now both AIDA life members) in recognition of the poor record of most Australian Universities in selecting and promoting female debaters at the Australasian championships. In 1990 only 8% of all speakers eligible to make the finals at Australasian championships were female, in 1991 after the first Easters the figure was 21%, but it was thought that not enough progress was being made by Australian Universities.

A number of Australia's most successful debaters got their start at Easters, including many who had never debated before at high school.

Past Finalists and Hosts

Year Champions Runners Up Hosts
2009 University of Sydney Australian National University University of Queensland
2008 University of Sydney University of Queensland Macquarie University
2007 University of Queensland University of Melbourne University of Sydney
2006 Australian National University University of Sydney Australian National University
2005 University of Sydney University of Sydney University of Western Australia
2004 University of Sydney University of Queensland University of New South Wales
2003 Australian National University University of Adelaide University of Queensland
2002 Australian National University University of Sydney University of Adelaide
2001 University of New South Wales Australian National University University of Sydney
2000 University of New South Wales University of Melbourne University of Melbourne
1999 University of New South Wales University of Sydney University of New South Wales
1998 Australian National University Monash University Australian National University
1997 University of Melbourne University of Sydney University of Melbourne
1996 University of Melbourne University of New South Wales University of Adelaide
1995 Australian National University University of Sydney University of Sydney
1994 Monash University University of Melbourne Monash University
1993 Australian National University Monash University Macquarie University
1992 Monash University University of Melbourne Australian National University
1991 University of Sydney Macquarie University Monash University
1990 Australian National University University of New South Wales Australian National University

Best Speakers

Year Best Speaker University
2009 Lauren Humphrey University of Queensland
2008 Claudia Newman-Martin Australian National University
2007 Sienna Merope University of Melbourne
2006 Amit Golder Monash University
2005 Tom Robertson University of Sydney
2004 David Solomon
Jenny Bowles
University of Western Australia
Australian National University
2003 Shannon Price University of Sydney
2002 Kate Mason University of New South Wales
2001 Anthony Jones University of Sydney
2000 Pete Morris University of New South Wales
1999 Andrew Gormly University of Adelaide
1998 Nick Wood Australian National University
1997 Chris Bacon University of Melbourne
1996 Michael Walsh University of New South Wales
1995 David Ruschena Monash University

Best Novice Speakers

Year Best Novice Speaker University
2009 Daniel Swain University of Sydney
2008 Michael Falk
Paul Karp
University of Sydney
University of Sydney
2007 Sienna Merope University of Melbourne
2006 Steve Hind University of Sydney
2005 Tom Robertson University of Sydney
2004 Jenny Bowles Australian National University
2003 Shannon Price University of Sydney
2002 Patrick Delaney Australian National University
2001 Anthony Jones University of Sydney
2000 Mark Thomson Australian National University
1999 Sarah Kennedy University of Melbourne
1998 Mark Thomson Australian National University
1997 Anthea Roberts Australian National University
1996 Nick Wood 1 Australian National University
1995 Luke Oliver
Tim Maxwell
Monash University
University of Melbourne

Future Championships

Note

1 Due to a retrospective decision by the AIDA Council after the break, first-year ANU student Nick Wood (along with team mate Anthea Roberts) was deemed not to be a novice, hence this was not officially awarded this year. The rule was clarified afterwards, and under the new ruling Nick Wood was deemed to be a novice (after his team had been disqualified).

External links

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