Brentwood has developed a vibrant culture of debating and public speaking in recent years. We have had many successes in both the junior and senior Debating Association of Victoria (DAV) competitions. We offer support and guidance to all students who wish to get involved in debating and public speaking, and encourage all students who are interested, regardless of level of experience, to participate. Junior students (in years 7 – 8) receive formal training and adjudication sessions from DAV across 4 rounds in semester 2 and are also able to build skills through the support of their senior peers, who often remain involved with the program once their semester 1 rounds are completed.

Students debating

DAV Schools Competition
Each year, Brentwood has numerous teams registered for the DAV Schools Competition, operating for students from Years 9 – 12. We are always looking for additional students to participate, even if they wish to attend meetings and competition evenings with friends before locking in a speaking role.
All are welcome and it’s never too late to join or seek out new opportunities to participate.

These senior competitions take place at Wesley College, Glen Waverley, once a month on Thursday nights, throughout semester 1. Meetings to prepare for debates are held weekly at lunchtime, where students gather, collaborate and workshop approaches and arguments within their debating teams. The debating coordinator and other English staff also assist students with organisational matters, drafting and presentation skills during these sessions.

Junior DAV Competition
This program is open for students in Years 7 – 8. All students are welcome to join and no prior debating experience is necessary. This is an excellent way for beginning debaters to gain some training and experience, as the DAV offers training and feedback throughout the program. The Junior DAV Competition was hosted at Brentwood between 2016 – 2019 and will be held elsewhere in the Glen Waverley region for 2020.

DAV Junior & Senior Public Speaking Competitions
The Junior Public Speaking Competition involves students participating in a training session in the morning, then presenting a pre-prepared speech, followed by two short impromptu speeches. As with all of the DAV junior programs, all students are welcome to get involved, even if they have no experience with public speaking. Brentwood students have been enthusiastic in pursuing involvement at these external events, offering them a great opportunity to extend their involvement and success into the broader debating community.

Legacy Junior Public Speaking
Brentwood students are also invited to participate in the Legacy Junior Public Speaking competition, with four students allowed to enter per school. We hold a preliminary round in-school, to select the four best students to go through to the regional final. A prepared speech is to be of five minutes duration, on a topic of the competitor’s choosing, on any subject relating to the ideals of voluntary service, social justice, caring, personal effort, personal sacrifice and/or mateship. To be eligible for entry, students must be aged 12 years or up to 14 years.

Further Opportunities & Events
Brentwood students have also enjoyed success in being invited to other state-wide debating and public speaking events, including the UN Youth Victoria Evatt competition held at Melbourne Law School and the Women’s Competition Swannie Awards, held at Methodist Ladies’ College. These competitions allow students to exercise their diplomacy skills and connect with other like-minded people, simultaneously extending their network in the field of accomplished young debaters.