Primary Schools State Debating Championships

Latest Competition News

We're planning for the Primary Schools State Debating Championships to return in 2021! We'll be in touch soon with all the schools entered in the Premier's Debating Challenge about how to try out for your regional teams.

Basic Information

Since 1996 ten regions of NSW have selected their 4 best primary school debaters to represent them at the Primary Schools State Debating Championships. Each year the teams gather in late November in Collaroy on Sydney's northern beaches to battle it out across 5 rounds, semis and a final to determine a state champion. Note that the cost for each selected student to attend the tournament camp is roughly $300.00, though some regions are able to help out with some extra money to subsidise that.

Rules of Competition

  • Competitors should be from Years 5 and 6 attending a NSW public school.
  • Only one student may be selected per school and each student may only compete at state primary level twice.
  • Teams should be comprised of four members with each regional team exercising its discretion to include a fifth member.
  • Debates will be judged by adjudicators with primary experience who have been selected by The Arts Unit.
  • Each speaker should speak for a maximum of 4 minutes, with a warning bell at 3 minutes. A continuous bell will be rung at 5 minutes.

Stages of Competition

  • The topics will only be disclosed, and decided upon, immediately prior to preparation time.
  • Teams should prepare their debates within a predetermined time limit of one hour, without the assistance of their coaches.
  • There will be 5 rounds of debates. At the conclusion of those rounds the top 4 teams will debate in the Semi-Finals. Should there be a number of teams with an equal number of wins, then the 4 Semi-Finalists will be decided at the discretion of the adjudicators in consultation with the State Debating Coordinator.


  • The Primary Schools State Debating Championships Trophy is awarded to the State Champion Regional Team.
  • Medallions are awarded to team members of both teams competing in the State Final.
  • Certificates are awarded to all participants.

You can check out the list of past state champions by clicking here, and you can watch the 2019 final below or if you prefer go to Vimeo to watch the debate. There you'll have more options like being able to download the video or jump between speakers by clicking on their times. Congratulations again to these debaters and everyone who made the competition such a success.