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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Topics for Round 4 now available | 9 April 2016

We are pleased to present Round 4 of the Schools Competition in partnership with the University of Tasmania's Faculty of Law. All debates in the Round will take place in the Faculty, with Novice and College teams debating on Wednesday May 4 and Grade 8, Grade 9 and Grade 10 teams debating on Wednesday May 11.

The Faculty of Law will once again sponsor a prize for this Round of the Competition. The Dean's Medal, presented on behalf of the Faculty's Dean, Professor Margaret Otlowski, will be awarded to the team in each Grade with the strongest case, determined by adjudicators on each evening.

The subject area for this Round is Law and justice. Topics are listed below.

Novice: That parents should be held responsible for crimes committed by their children
Grade 8: That prisoners should be able to vote
Grade 9: That students should be held legally responsible for bullying if it results in the victim’s death
Grade 10: That judges should be elected

College: That judicial activism is bad for democracy

Topics for Round 2 now available | 15 March 2016

Topics for Round 2 of the Schools Competition are now available. The subject area for this Round is Gender in society. Topics are listed below.

Novice: That all schools should be coeducational
Grade 8: That we should ban beauty pageants
Grade 9: Advised subject: Gender, family
Grade 10: Advised subject: Gender, women in the media
College: Advised subject: Gender, feminism

Debates in the Novice and College competitions will take place at The Hutchins School on Wednesday March 23. Debates in the Grade 8, Grade 9 and Grade 10 competitions will take place at Dominic College on Wednesday March 30.

Roster for 2016 Schools Competition released | 28 February 2016

Registrations for the 2016 Southern Schools Competition have now closed. With 74 teams from 14 different schools registered, this season is set to be the TDU's biggest in several years.

The competitions for Novice and College debaters will begin on Wednesday March 9 at The Friends' School. The Grade 8, Grade 9 and Grade 10 competitions will begin the following Wednesday, March 16, at Taroona High School.

A draft roster and draft fixture for the competition are now available. We encourage schools to thoroughly review the roster and advise the TDU as soon as possible of any errors, such as missing teams or hosting impossibilities.