The Tasmanian Debating Union is Tasmania's premier debating organisation for schools level competition, training and development. The TDU was founded in 1981 and is the sole Tasmanian affiliate of the Australian Debating Federation.

The TDU organises and conducts schools competitions for all levels of secondary education in southern Tasmania, and works with partners in the north of the state and the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association to conduct an annual statewide tournament.

The TDU also undertakes training and development of debaters and adjudicators across the state, and each year selects a team to represent Tasmania at the Australian Debating Championships.

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Upcoming debating

Cancellation of debating on June 16 | 16 June 2021

We regret to advise that all debates scheduled to take place tonight (Wednesday June 16) have been postponed to next Wednesday June 23. This includes all debates in Round 3 of the Grade Eight, Grade Nine and Grade Ten competitions. Debating next Wednesday will take place at St Michael's Collegiate. We ask that coaches and coordinators ensure this message is passed on to debaters and parents planning to attend this evening. We apologise for the inconvenience caused by this last-minute change.

Opening of National Schools Debating Championships | 19 May 2021

Members of the debating community are warmly invited to join us at the Opening Debate of the 2021 National Schools Debating Championships.

The Opening Debate, between the host team (Tasmania) and the previous year's champions (New South Wales), officially opens the Championships and will be attended by all tournament participants. It marks the start of a week of hard-fought contest between teams from every state and territory, and offers members of the public a unique opportunity to witness a debate of the highest quality in Australian school-level competition.

The debate will take place at 4:30pm this Sunday, May 23, in the Hobart Town Hall. Attendance is free; attendees are encouraged to register in advance but are not required to do so. The event is open to the public, and those interested in attending are encouraged to bring their family and friends.

Our state team, comprised of Ben Horsham from The Hutchins School, Charlie Pilkington from Elizabeth College, Gypsy Polacheck from St Michael's Collegiate, Mackenna Minstrell from Hobart College and Mackenzie Stone from Ogilvie High School (reserve), have been training hard for months in preparation for the Championships. We hope to have a strong crowd to support them at the Opening Debate, and strongly encourage all current participants in the Schools Competition to attend.

Schools Competition roster released | 3 March 2021

Registrations for the 2021 Southern Schools Debating Competition have now closed. We thank schools for their cooperation throughout the registration process and look forward to working with teams over the coming months.

A draft fixture and draft roster for the Competition are now available, along with topics for Round 1. Drawing up the roster for the debating competition can be a fraught process, and coaches and coordinators are asked to carefully review the fixture and roster and make the TDU aware of any errors or omissions, such as missing teams, impossible hosting dates or a team being over-represented as Affirmative or Negative (teams should generally represent both sides a minimum of twice). Notice of errors in the draft roster, or of known conflicts between scheduled evenings of debating and activities such as exams, is appreciated as soon as possible.

The Competition will begin with an exhibition debate, demonstrating the rules used throughout the season, this evening (Wednesday March 3). This debate will take place in Lecture Theatre 2 in the UTAS Faculty of Law, beginning at 6pm, and will be followed by a Q&A. All interested debaters, coaches, teachers and parents are welcome to attend.