Performing Arts Report – Purton Oratory Competition
August 31, 2021
by Ms Monique Allen, Head of Co-Curricular Performance
The 2021 Purton Oratory Competition – Thursday, August 26
COVID strikes again but our debating and public speaking staff and students were not deterred by the latest lock down. It was the 80th iteration of this esteemed event and given the unique circumstances and wonderful talent on display it was certainly one to remember.
This year the Purton Oratory Competition went virtual.
Students entered in the Br. H. T Breach Oratory (Years 7-9) and Br. D. G Purton Oratory (Years 10-12) had to prepare a five-minute speech on a topic of their choosing. They were asked to record and upload these speeches which were then judged by the adjudicators on the day of the competition.
All other events were held live via Microsoft Teams.
The topic for the Ms. Mary Purcell debate was ‘That we should ban all examinations in schools’ and the Year 7-9 students battled it out demonstrating skill in their arguments, strong rebuttal and considered points of view. In the end it was the affirmative team who won the debate, but all speakers did a fantastic job.
Affirmative Team – Nicholas Willis Pitt, Kristopher Stephens and Jonathon Stephens.
Negative Team – Eric Yang, Gabriel Galias and Thisen Jayasooriya.
There were two topics for the Year 7-9 students to choose from in the Major Brian Broadribb Impromptu Speaking: ‘Ghosts I’d like to meet’ or ‘The best things in life are free’. The adjudicators awarded Jonathon Stephens as the winner for his clear contention, engaging delivery, and logical flow of ideas. Jonathon spoke of the importance of human connection, something we can all experience for free.
The topic for the W. T. Doyle debate was ‘That Australia should end it’s alliance with the US’. Those involved are leaders and future leaders of our school community, demonstrating positive sportsmanship and leading a great example for our up-and-coming debaters. Well researched speeches were met with intense and logical rebuttal from both teams, but ultimately the negative team was named victorious for addressing and attacking the key argument presented by the affirmative team.
Affirmative Team – Xavier Orriss, Duncan Brodie and Patrick Porter.
Negative Team – Darcy Williams, Sam Tilley and Patrick Clarke-Thomas.
There were two topics for the Year 10-12 students to choose from in the Sir Hugh Devine Impromptu Speaking: ‘An inconvenient truth’ or ‘Where there is hope…’. The adjudicators awarded Jeremy Spedding as the winner for his engaging and entertaining take on ‘An inconvenient truth’. Jeremy spoke about love and how inconvenient it is.
The winners for each event were:
- Mary Purcell Debate: Affirmative Team – Nicholas Willis Pitt, Kristopher Stephens and Jonathon Stephens
- Major Brian Broadribb Impromptu Speaking: Jonathon Stephens
- H T Breach Oratory: Jonathon Stephens, “The Future”
- T Doyle Debate: Negative Team – Darcy Williams, Sam Tilley and Patrick Clarke-Thomas
- Sir Hugh Devine Impromptu Speaking: Jeremy Spedding
- D G Purton Oratory: Sam Tilley, “Perennial Philosophy”
This was a true demonstration of the critical thinking and deep reflection our public speaking and debating students are capable of. We look forward to celebrating with all participants when we are back at school and recognising the winners of each event.
A big thank you to Nathaniel Winfield, Sonya Roberts, Julia Petrov and Brianah Walsh for their support in making this event possible.