Who we are.
Olivia is a fourth year student at Sydney University with an excellent track record in debating and public speaking. Whilst at school, she won the prestigious CSDA (Catholic Schools Debating Association) competition every year from 2008 (Year 7) to 2013 (Year 12), and was awarded as the best senior debater in her school whilst in Year 12. Her talents were not restricted to speaking in English either – she placed first in NSW for Italian Continuers and second in NSW for French Beginners in the HSC in 2013.
Since leaving school, she has continued her love of debating as a coach at both Santa Sabina College in Strathfield and The Kings School in Parramatta. She has also continued her academic successes, receiving a number of scholarships from Sydney University, and being awarded with the University of Sydney Academic Merit Prize and being added to the Dean’s List of Excellence in Academic Performance in 2014.
Rob is widely known as the father of the Western Sydney University Debating Society, having established it in 2012 and nurtured it ever since. Now the Chair of the World Universities Debating Council and the President of Australasian Intervasrsity Debating Association, he has competed and adjudicated in more than 100 tournaments in Australia and worldwide, having most recently judged the semi-finals of the Worlds Debating Championships in January 2017.
Rob was also a successful public speaker at school, having reached the state semi-finals in the Plain English Speaking Award in three separate years, and has adjudicated in a number of prestigious interschool competitions since 2012, including GPS and Archdale. He is presently a coach at Tara Anglican School for Girls.
James is an avid debater and public speaker with a number of achievements under his belt, the most notable of which was his win in the Lawrence Campbell Public Speaking Competition in 2016 (which boasts previous winners such as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and former Chief Justice Murray Gleeson). Whilst at school he was also given the honour of being selected to captain the CAS Firsts Debating Team, and was runner up in the Legacy Regional Public Speaking Competition.
Since leaving school, he has continued his debating career on the university circuit, and has continued his winning streak, reaching finals series as both a debater and an adjudicator. He is presently coaching debating at St Aloysius College, a private school on Sydney’s lower north shore.
Anthony is a qualified English and Drama teacher, having graduated from Notre Dame University in March 2017 having obtained the Dean’s Award, the highest academic accolade available exclusively to education students at the university. This reflects his wide ranging advocacy developed whilst at university, which included being the Education Representative for the university’s student association, and being a member of the National Student Board in 2016.
Whilst at school, Anthony was also heavily involved in the public speaking program, becoming a state finalist in both the Catholic Schools Debating Association Public Speaking Competition and the Legacy Youth Public Speaking Competition. Since finishing school he has continued his love for the spotlight on stage, and is an active member of the Chatswood Musical Society, Packemin Productions, Sydney Youth Musical Theatre Inc and Whimsical Productions.
Liam is a Sydney University student and an avid debater. Despite only being in his second year, he has represented his university at both the Australian and Australasian debating championships. This is a natural continuation of his school days, where he represented St Ignatius College (Riverview) in its firsts team for two years, and was selected to join the GPS squad, an honor for any debater in the Greater Public Schools Group.
Since leaving school, he has coached debating at a number of prestigious private schools, including Cranbrook School and Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College, and has now returned to Riverview as the head coach of its debating program.
Sam is an experienced debater currently studying his Master’s of International Relations at Sydney University, having graduated his undergrad from Macquarie University. Whilst at Macquarie, he represented the University at various major tournaments, including six times at the Australian Debating Championships, twice at the Australasian Debating Championships and twice at the Worlds Debating Championships. At a school level, he has adjudicated in most major tournaments in Sydney, including ISDA, CSDA and Rotary.
Outside of debating, Sam is an experienced student politician, having served two terms on the Macquarie University Senate, and one term on the Macquarie University Student Representative Council
Vail has debated for over a decade in Queensland and New South Wales. Her debating career has seen her reach the finals of a number of tournaments, and has led to her election as the President of the UTS Debating Society in 2014, selection as the convenor of the Australian Debating Championships in 2015 and her placement as the first ever life member of the UTS Debating Society.
She has also had a number of other successes in law school competitions throughout her university career, including being a quarter finalist of the National AAT Moot and as the runner up at the intervarsity Margaret Cunneen Witness Examination competition.
Ben is a very experience debater and public speaker. Whilst a student at St Aloysius College, he was the winner of the internal school-wide Richard Hockey Trophy in Public Speaking in 2011, the Dr l’Estrange Cup for Excellence in Public Speaking and Debating in 2012, and was the Aloysian representative at the prestigious Lawrence Campbell competition in 2011 and 2012.
Since starting university, Ben was recognised as one of the Top 10 speakers at the Australian University Debating Championships in 2014, and reached the finals series of the Australasian University Debating Championships in both 2015 and 2016. He has also received accolades as the best speaker at a number of smaller tournaments, including the UWS Open and ANU Open in 2015, and at the Griffith IV in 2016.
Ben also has extensive experience as a public speaking and debating coach. He is presently the MIC of Debating at Knox Grammar School and the Senior A debating team at Sydney Girls High School, and has coached teams that have won the CAS Interschool Debating Competition and personally reached the finals series of the ISDA and CSDA Debating Competitions. Further, Ben has judged the Grand Final of the Archdale Interschool Debating Competition in 2015, and the finals of the ISDA Interschool Competition and Australian University Debating Championships in 2016.
Charlie is presently studying a Bachelor of Laws with a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Wollongong. Since completing high school at the end of 2016, he has already spend substantial time on the debating circuit, having won the Commonwealth Debating Championships and represented his University at the Australian Debating Championships in early 2017.
Whilst at school, he had a number of achievements, including but not limited to being the best male speaker in the Junior State Debating Championships, being a State Finalist in the Premier’s Debating Tournament, winning the University of Sydney ‘Future of America’ debating competition, and winning the Lions Youth of the Year public speaking competition in his district. He is presently working as an adjudicator in HICES competition, and as a coach at Smiths Hill High School, the premier selective school in Wollongong.