Who are our coaches?
Sydney Speaking School has assembled a team of world class, engaging, supportive coaches to run our programs.
Our coaches are across everything related to public speaking and debating. Our coaches include debaters that have represented most of the major local universities (and reached the finals of) the Australian, Australasian and Worlds Debating Championships; a university medalist who graduated in Education majoring in English and Drama; the person who topped English Advanced in the HSC in 2016; the winner of the 2016 Laurence Campbell Public Speaking Competition; and coaches with a collective lifetime of individual successes in debating and public speaking.
Our coaches are not only the best in their field – we ensure that we only hire people who can really teach. Many of our coaches come from a drama or teaching background, which allows them to explain complex debating and public speaking concepts in a simple way.
How are our coaches selected?
In Person Interview
to ensure that the coach meets our high standards.
to verify that the coach is an appropriate choice.
Working With Children Check
to make sure that the coach is safe to work with children.
Inducted and Trained
to guarantee that the coach knows and understands our teaching philosophy.
Below are profiles of just some of our coaches…
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.
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.
Emily, a law student at the University of Sydney, is an exceptionally bright person. Not only was she dux of her school in 2016, but she also ranked first in NSW for Advanced English and seventh for Earth and Environmental Sciences in the same year.
Her successes are, however, not limited to academia. Whilst at school, she reached the grand final of the CSDA public speaking competition twice, and was twice a semi-finalist of the CSDA debating competition. She has also spent much of her limited spare time teaching, in particular as a coach in English at ATAR Notes, a mentor and judge for Tournament of the Minds, a private tutor and a cub scout leader.
Ben has been debating for over a decade, in high school he was in the Grand Final of the premiers debating challenge for two years running, winning it in his final year. He is a respected member of the debating community with 4 years of coaching experience. Ben’s passion for teaching is only rivalled by his love of debating, he is an active member of the debating community and continues to adjudicate the Eastside Competition, HICES and Premier’s High School debating competitions, among others.
Ben is the former president of the University of Wollongong Debating Society. He has competed and adjudicated at numerous international tournaments and domestic tournaments and has progressed to the finals series on numerous occasions.
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.
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 former Chair of the World Universities Debating Council and the former 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.
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.
Ben is a very experience debater and public speaker. Whilst a student at St Aloysius College, he was the winner of various school wide competitions and was regularly selected represented the College in a range of interschool competitions. This success has continued into university, where 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.
Ben also has extensive experience as a public speaking and debating coach. He is presently the MIC of Debating at Knox Grammar School, and has coached teams that have won the CAS Interschool Debating Competition and 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.
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.
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
Eloise, who is studying a Bachelor of Exercise Physiology at UNSW, has a strong background in public speaking and debating throughout, having competed throughout her school years and recently graduated from PLC as their Public Speaking and Debating Captain. This is in addition to her admirable achievement of obtaining both a Certificate in Drama and Performance and a Certificate in Voice and Communications from the AMEB, both with a High Distinction. She has continued her debating into university, having represented UNSW at the Australasian Debating Championships, judged the Australian Debating Championships, the Australian Women’s Championships and even the finals of the Australian British Parliamentary Championships. She has also adjudicated a large number of interschool competitions, including ISDA, CAS, GPS, Archdale and FED.
Outside of debating and public speaking, Eloise has a wide range of experience with younger children. In particular, she has shown her interest in exercise physiology as a sports coach for primary school teams.
Clare, who is studying a Bachelor of Laws with a Bachelor of Arts at Western Sydney University, is an avid university debater. She is an engaged member of the WSU Debating Society, having won the Grand Final of their internal competition, and presently holds the offices of Women’s Officer and Schools Officer. This means that she is responsible for running their entire schools engagement program, which includes multiple coaching sessions throughout the year. She also recently represented her university at the Australian Debating Championships, which we sponsored, and has adjudicated the ISDA debating competition.
Outside of debating, Clare has a number of academic achievements, including multiple scholarships and first places in her HSC subjects. She has also engaged in a number of coaching jobs outside of debating, primarily through the PASS (Peer Assisted Study Session) programs run at WSU and other coaching colleges.
Patrick has been an avid debater and public speaker since he was first given the opportunity to through his schooling. Presently he studies an International Bachelor of Science majoring in Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Wollongong, where he has continued to represent the university at the Australian Debating Championship for the past 3 years.
Outside of the Sydney Speaking School he is an adjudicator for the Premier’s Debating and Public Speaking competitions, works as an accredited tennis coach across the South Coast and is employed as a tutor for Custom Training Illawarra.
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.