2010 News Archive

Coaching Training: Free Debate Enabling Day

Saturday May 22nd, 11 am – 3 pm, Melbourne Uni

Free Debate is a charitable organization that strives to change the lives of disadvantaged youths and adults through the power of training in advocacy, argumentation and debate. The organisation is made up of volunteers, both current and former debaters. Working with Free Debate is a fantastic opportunity to use the skills of public speaking you have developed in high school and university for good rather than evil.

Free Debate is running an Enabling Day in order to provide you with the coaching skills you need to be able to join in Free Debate’s work, or simply to help you in your own coaching activities.

The Enabling Day will consist of a number of sessions to build coaching and project management skills. The sessions will focus on building your skills as a debating and public speaking coach, with the ability to apply these skills to a wide range of groups, from young children to migrants and refugees from non-English speaking countries. There will also be a session on project management skills.

The sessions will be run by some of the best coaches in Australia, including Rob Koh, former coach of the Australian Schools Debating Team, Liz Sheargold, Australs Best Speaker 2006 and former coach of the Victorian Schools team, Kim Little, 2000 World Debating Champion, and our own Amit Golder, amongst others.

RSVP is essential, so to register interest for the session please e-mail victor@finkel.net with your contact details and a brief summary of debating/public speaking background.

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MAD Mini 2011

After being thoroughly vetted and grilled by Sam and Ash, the MAD Mini Org Comm has been officially decided!

Co-Convenors: Sam Whitney and Ashleigh Feurtado
Logistics: James Beavis
Registration and Marketing: Josh Goodwill
Treasurer: Nisha Dutta
Tab Director: Tom Stansfield
Co-Chief Adjudicators: Chris Bisset and Kiran Iyer

If you have any enquiries about the tournament, you can email Sam and Ash at .

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Monash Debating Review (MDR) Marketing Manager: Position Vacant

We are currently seeking applications for the Marketing Manager position. The Marketing Manager is responsible for:

  • Acting as a first point of contact for all MDR purchasing enquiries;
  • Investigating sponsorship opportunities for the MDR;
  • Setting prices for the MDR;
  • Organising an online payment system in collaboration with the MAD Treasurer.

If you are interested in this position, please send an email to Kiran at monash.debaters.president@gmail.com by Friday May 21.

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Special Events: Mark Dreyfus, QC, MP at Monday Meeting

MAD is excited to welcome Mark Dreyfus, Federal Member of Parliament for Isaacs and Chair of the Parliamentary Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee, as guest speaker at our next Monday meeting. Mark will be speaking on Monday May 3 at 1:00pm in Law Lecture Theatre L3.

Before entering Parliament, Mark was one of Australia’s top lawyers. Mark worked on several landmark High Court cases, such as the Stolen Generation litigation. He is one of the rising stars of the Australian Labor Party, and was Chair of the ALP National Policy Committee.

The topic for Mark’s discussion will be: ‘Australia’s Population and the Future of our Cities’, which will cover immigration, population growth and sustainability in an era when Australia is affected by chronic water shortages, spiraling house prices and crumbling infrastructure. Mark will defend the government’s response to the challenge of illegal immigration, which promises to be an important election battleground.


Where? Law Lecture Theatre, L3
When? Monday, May 3 at 1:00pm
Who? Everyone and anyone who wants to see Mark Dreyfus

We look forward to seeing you there!

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The Great Alumni, Students and Friends Debate

This Tuesday MAD’s Fiona Prowse and Victor Finkel will be speaking in the 2010 Great Alumni, Students and Friends Debate. A showcase event at the Langham Hotel as part of Monash’s “Education Matters” week these debates are always great fun!

Topic: ?The world has too many visionaries and not enough pragmatists?


Dr Susan Maushart, author and Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Western Australia
Professor Julian Savulescu (MBBS(Hons) 1988, BMedSc(Hons) 1988, PhDArts 1995), Uehiro Chair in Practical Ethics, University of Oxford
Anna Burke MP (BA(Hons) 1988), Federal Member for Chisholm
Professor Arie Freiberg (LLM 1984), Dean, Faculty of Law, Monash University
Fiona Prowse, Arts/Law student and winner of the Australasian Debating Championships 2009
Victor Finkel (BMus 2008), Aerospace Engineering student and Best Speaker at the Australasian Debating Championships 2010


Professor Adam Shoemaker, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education), Monash University

Event details

Date: Tuesday 14 September, 2010
Time: 6.30 pm for a 7 pm start
Location: Clarendon Ballroom, The Langham, 1 Southgate Ave, Southbank, Melb
Cost: Free, but registration essential

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As some of you would have heard, the MAD AGM is going to be held on the 13th of September. For those of you who don’t know, this is where MAD members run for election for the executive of the next year, and constitutional amendments may be passed or denied.

The deadline for Constitutional changes has now passed: You can view the successfully submitted changes here.

If you are planning on running for any position on the Exec and would like to know more about the responsibilities and functions of any of the positions, you can access the relevant information here. If you would like to contact any specific Exec member to ask them questions about their portfolio obligations and functions, you can find their contact information here.

If you can’t wait for the day itself, or just want to prepare yourself for the long arduous hours of…fun…you can read the AGM Agenda to whet your appetites.

We will be meeting in Engineering Hall 4 (EH4), Building 60 at 12:55pm on Monday the 13th of September. Because Engineering is about as accessible as the underside of a mountain lion’s tongue, you can access a map to help guide you to your destination.

Update: After some discussion, the executive has changed the way proxies will work for the AGM. Now, all proxy votes must be submitted to Sheldon by 12pm on Monday at sheldonoski@gmail.com, and only one proxy vote can be held per person. Furthermore, whilst you can still submit a directed or undirected proxy, all proxies must be held by someone present at the AGM. What this means is that for your proxy to be valid you need to have worked out someone to hold it at the AGM, and included that in your email to Sheldon.

Speaking times have been announced!

Position Speech Length No. of Questions
President 5 minutes 3 questions
Vice-President 3 minutes 2 questions
Treasurer 2 minutes 2 questions
Secretary 2 minutes 2 questions
IT Officer 2 minutes 2 questions
Equity Officer 2 minutes 2 questions
Members Without Portfolio (MWOP) 1.5 minutes 2 questions

If you have any niggling questions plaguing you, you can direct your enquiries to our inimitable secretary Luke McGreevy at monash.debaters.secretary@gmail.com.

We look foward to seeing you there!

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ANU Spring Debating

MAD’s favourite mini of the year is upon us again (note: a mini is a small tournament of debating, if you weren’t aware)! Each year ANU host their mini at a great rate with quality adjudication and topics, a championship dinner (among other socials) and the cheapest drinks Canberra has to offer. So what are the details?

When: 3rd-5th September; it’s over a weekend so you can still get to your Friday morning classes.
Cost: $45 for both debaters and adj’s.
Teams: You can form your own teams for minis. You can debate with a friend or chose to learn from someone more experienced. There are no requirements!

You can find the Expression of Interest form here. Once you fill it out, we’ll keep you as up to date as possible on registration, tournament details and all those fun factoids that will make your life easier!

Update: Everyone must sign up individually, either as a debater or an adjudicator. Unfortunately, ANU are not allowing bulk registrations from each institution. I have let them know that we are expecting at least 14 teams from Monash to sign up, but they have an overall team cap of 60 teams, so get in quick when registration opens at 9AM on Monday August 9th. You can register here.

If you have any questions, please email Ash as monash.debaters.externals@gmail.com.

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Special Event: Rebuilding Humpty – A Modern Hypothetical

On Wednesday April 21, join MAD Alumni Ben Richards as he moderates an illustrious panel of Monash alumni, staff and students to explore the intersection between medicine, ethics, the law – and the politics of spin. MAD’s loveliest member, Carmel Wallis, will be part of the panel for this not to be missed event.

The scenario: “An Australian drug trial in India goes wrong; a legal settlement proposes live kidney transplants; a woman’s cancer treatment causes a tragic dilemma.”

The panel includes:

  • Professor Ed Byrne AO, Monash University Vice-Chancellor
  • Mr Julian Burnside, Barrister
  • Dr Sally Cockburn, aka “Dr Feelgood”
  • Professor Julian Savulescu, Uehiro Chair in Practical Ethics, Oxford University
  • Associate Professor Nicholas Tonti-Filipini, John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family
  • Ms Carmel Wallis, MAD member and ‘Lot’s Wife’ editor

Date: Wednesday 21 April
Time: 6pm for 6.30-8pm
Location: BMW Edge, Federation Square, Corner Swanston and Flinders Street, Melbourne
Cost: Free!

Register here. We look forward to seeing you there!

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First Year Social

Due to the sucess of last years event MAD is hosting another 1st year social. This event is not exclusively for 1st years (so 2nd, 3rd + years are welcome to attend) but it is an event aimed at keeping new members involved in the club. Come down to Clayton’s newest bowling and M9 Laser Skirmish Arena for a night of great bowling and laser force.

When: Tuesday August 10, 7:30pm
Where: AMF Bowling 1866 Princes Highway, Clayton
Cost: $20 includes a a game of bowling, laser force and food

Tickets will be sold next Monday evening at the training session. If you have any issues, please contact Rhys.

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Easters Results

Melbourne Easters 2010 was one of MAD’s most successful Easters in several years. We had huge contingent that saw five adjudicators and three teams break. Congratulations to Ravi Dutta, Amit Golder and Colette Mintz on judging the Grand Final that once again saw the University of Sydney Union come out victorious (shame!). MAD President Kiran Iyer broke to the semi finals, and Nita Rao managed to break despite the fact she wasn’t even attending the Finals Series.

All teams were spectacular in their performances, but three deserve a special mention. Monash 5 of Mel Birch, James Beavis and Mike Stern broke 10th with 5 wins but were unfortunately knocked out of the octo-finals in a split decision. Monash 13 of Sam Whitney, Stephen Moore and Calum Sargeant exceeded their own expectations in breaking 16th. The boys put up an amazing fight against the undefeated and top ranked Sydney 1. Unfortunately though, the powerhouse Sydney team put Monash 13 out of the finals. Monash 2 of Meredith Prior, Lynton Gunn and Nisha Dutta broke 15th and created a huge upset by taking out one of the tournament favourites, ANU 1, in the octo-finals. However, Monash 2 lost their quarter final in a very close debate.

The level of support given to all our teams by each other, by our adjudicators and by those of you following the results on Twitter was invaluable and always makes a big difference. The entire 15 team and 13 adjudicator contingent performed to such a high standard that we couldn’t have asked for more, and are so proud of their achievements.

If you are interested (or just want to relive the glory days), you can check out the full Easters contingent (as well as the contingents of yesteryear) here. You can also see the full tab here.

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RAD Mini

The RMIT Association of Debaters Mini Debating Tournament has been brought to a swift conclusion, and we have the results!

Best Speaker: Dominic Guinane
Grand Final Winners: Gemma Buckley and Sam Whitney
Grand Final Runner Ups: Dominic Guinane (Iron Man); Hasini Wickramasinghe and Jacqueline Duong
Grand Final Adjudicators: Lynton Gunn
Couldn’t beat the cap for the Grand Final: Duncan Wallace and Jamie Blaker

A big thanks to everyone who debated and adjudicated and, all jokes aside, a massive congratulations to RAD for hosting what was an amazing tournament.

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Post-Easters Party

After an amazing Easters, we’d love to see you all at the post-Easters party! With 3 teams breaking, several Monash judges in the finals, an amazing performance by all our other teams, and the official title of most fun uni ever (being the only contingent with balloons and copious amounts of alcohol during the grand final), we’ve organised a night out to celebrate and everyone is welcome! Even if you didn’t come to Easters, make sure you come along to catch up on all the goss!

When? Thursday the 15th of April (this Thursday!) at 7:30
Where? Softbelly bar, 367 Lt Bourke street, Melbourne

We look forward to seeing you there!

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Week 13 Activities

Week 13 BBQ

Exams are round the corner and everyone is feeling the pressure looming. But never fear, Maddies, cause we’re having a bbq to help you destress. So remove yourself from the dark corners of the library annd come on down to the Menzies Lawn this Monday at 1pm for some free food, drink and good company. This is your final chance to catch up with your favourite Maddies before exams take over your social life and to wish our massive Australs contingent good luck before they fly out to Auckland! See you there!

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Easters: Final Update

Since teams have been finalised, rooms have been allocated and everyone is raring to go, so here’s a small update to let you all know about the events that are happening over the next week.

Monday 5th of April: Easters Training Day

A day full of debating (and adjudicating) in preparation for Easters. For full details, see below.

Tuesday 6th of April: Registration and Picnic

While registration opens at 2pm, we’re going to get an early start on the day with a MAD contingent picnic!

Where? Flagstaff Gardens, the entrance off corner of William and La Trobe Street.
When? 2pm
What do I need to bring? Just yourselves and any picnic type-food for lunch. You will be able to drop off your bags at the Ibis Hotel beforehand, so do that and head on over to Flagstaff Gardens.
What will it involve? Some sports, eating and general merriment. A fantastic start to what will undoubtedly be a fantastic tournament.
How Much? Nothing!

Wednesday 7th of April – Thursday 8th of April

Easters! See the website for full scheduling details.

Friday 9th of April: Finals

Finals day. You are all encouraged to come along to the Grand Final, details of which can be found at the aforementioned website.

Final night party!

Where? New Guernica (Level 2, 322 Little Collins Street)
When? The social will be kicking off around 9pm.
Who? Everyone!
Why? Even if you haven’t attended Easters, the final night function is still where most of the fun is had. Come along and join in the merriment, have a drink with the rest of MAD, and catch up on the tournament gossip.
How Much? The cost of your drinks!

Thursday 15th of April: Post-Easters Party

Post-Easters Party

Where? Softbelly Bar, 367 Little Burke Street
When? The function starts at 7:30pm.
What is it? A chance to catch up with everyone after they’ve full recovered from the tournament. Be sure to inquire about room parties, sexilation and, of course, the debating.

With a calendar jam-packed full of Easters goodness, you just know this one’s going to be a blast. We hope to see you all there!

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Alumni Cocktail Night

The Alumni Cocktail Night is perhaps the most prestigious event of the MAD calendar. Full details are available here, but for a quick rundown:

When: Thursday August 19, 6:15pm
Where: Monash Law Chambers (472 Bourke St, Melbourne)
Keynote Speaker: Victorian Treasurer, John Lenders

All the cool kids are coming so you should too! The registration form is available here.

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Regressive Details Announced!

MAD’s biggest and (usually) best social event of the year is coming up so make sure you don’t miss out!

Regressive is a comedy debate night where the debate goes backwards, starting with the adjudication and ending with the first speakers. Sound confusing? It is, but you’ll get the hang of it and like most comedy debates, the topic/format mean little as it shouldn’t get in the way of the fun. So while you may be thinking "How can the most fun social event involve a debate, I’m sick of those!", there’s going to be plenty of free drinks for you and that always makes watching a debate and heckling much more enjoyable!

Now that you know how amazing the night is and how much good value it is, you might be thinking "But how much can all this good time fun cost?" Well, more good news, its FREE! But being the filthy socialist types we are, we do expect you to pitch in, and so the food will be provided by everyone. Exec members supply the main course, first years supply the desert, and all other peoples supply snacks/entree. All in all, not a bad deal!

When? Friday the 21st of May, 7:00 for an 8:00 debate
Where? Beavis’ house (address to follow)
Cost? Nothing but the great food you’ll bring to share!

We look forward to seeing you all there for the fun, fantastic food and frivolous frivolity.

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Easters Training Day

In the lead up to the Easters Intervarsity Debating Tournament, MAD will be hosting a full day of debates to help debaters prepare for the upcoming stress of what will no doubt be an extremely hard fought tournament. While it is an opportunity for Easters teams to prepare for the tournament and adjudicators to hone their skills, any debaters or adjudicators can come along to develop their skills amongst some of the club’s most talented debaters.

When? Monday 5th of April, the day before Easters
Where? Monash, Law Basement
When? 10am-5pm

There will be three rounds, no finals, and all topics will be Easters style.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Ash Feurtado at monash.debaters.externals@gmail.com.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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One of the biggest events of the year is right around the corner… the Australian National Novice Championships, better known as Easters! This tournament is all about learning and improving your skills, as the novice focus implies, which makes it perfect for everyone from the oldest of hacks to brand new members who’ve never debated before. Over the four days you get put up at a Four Star hotel, have six rounds of debate and four massive social events (with bar tabs!). This year, our hosts will be the University of Melbourne, which brings Easters to our fair city for the first time in ten years. With around 400 uni students from all over the country attending, this is a great, and uncommon opportunity to attend a major debating event here at home. In fact, MAD wants you to go so much, we’re subsidising the places of the first 22 new members to sign up and pay! So, what are the details, you ask?

WHEN: Tuesday 6th – Friday 9th of April, during mid-semester break
WHERE: Melbourne! And Melb Uni are putting us up at the lovely Ibis Hotel.
COST: $340; this covers food (including the three course Championship Dinner), alcohol and accommodation for the entire tournament. BUT for the first 22 first year debaters to sign up and pay it’s only $250 as MAD is subsidising your place! Spots are filling up fast, so be sure to move quickly.
WHO: Anyone, as either a debater or an adjudicator.

Questions? Queries? Ready to jump on board and sign up? Then email Ash, External Competitions Officer, at

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Freshers Grand Final!

Make sure you come along for the Grand Final of the Freshers competition, to be held at 1:00pm on Monday in the H10 lecture theatre at the bottom of the Menzies.

The debate will feature Gabriella Bornstein, AJ Rawson and Michael Stern of Beautiful, Dirty, Rich taking on Jamie Blaker, Alex Mirt and Elizabeth Park of Monster.

The announcement of the winner and speaker prizes will be done before the start of proceedings on Monday night.

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MAD’s funnest (it’s a word!) tournament is quickly approaching. Freshers is a competition purely for first year members of the club, so it is a perfect relaxed initiation to university debating.

WHEN: Weeks 3 and 4, with the Grand Final on Monday March 22 at 1 pm.
WHERE: Law Basement at 5 pm
HOW TO SIGN UP: Email our Vice President, Gemma Buckley, at . Don’t worry if you haven’t arranged a team, send through your name and we can organise a team for you.

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Success at Worlds

MAD's Worlds Contingent
MAD’s Worlds Contingent

MAD’s contingent had an incredibly successful trip to the World University Debating Championships, at Koc University in Turkey. Monash A (Amit Golder and Tim Jeffrie) reached the Semi-Finals of the tournament, narrowly losing an exceptional debate to the London School of Economics and Oxford University. Monash B (Sashi Balaraman and Ravi Dutta) also reached the Quarter-Finals of the tournament, capping a great year for the Haileybury duo. Monash C (Nita Rao and Colette Mintz) were desperately unlucky to miss the break of the tournament. Every Monash speaker ranked in the top 100 speakers at the tournament, which is a superb achievement.

MAD’s adjudicators also performed extremely strongly. Meredith Prior, Melissa Birch, Rhys Campbell and Kiran Iyer all broke as adjudicators. In her first Worlds as an adjudicator, Meredith judged the Semi-Finals of the tournament, reflecting her brilliant performance across the rounds. All in all, this was yet another successful Worlds for MAD. Bring on Bostwana!

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