We’re excited to announce our committee for 2016!
Lynne Featonby, President
Lynne started debating as a year 9 student in the DAV Schools Competition. At Monash University she continued debating and took up adjudicating and committee participation. In between 4 Easter, 4 Australasian, 2 Worlds and numerous other debating intervarsities, Lynne adjudicated at and coordinated many DAV interschool debates, participated in the DAV Adults competition and joined the DAV Executive.
Lynne tests her persuasive abilities in her professional life as a barrister, practicing in criminal law.
Carmel Wallis, Immediate Past President
Carmel has worked as an adjudicator and as a debating coach for the past four years, as well as competing with the Monash Association of Debaters. Working with the Debaters Association of Australia, she has adjudicated and trained high school students in public speaking as well as in debating, coaching speakers through to the finals series of statewide competitions.
As a debater, she has competed at the Australasian Intervarsity Debating Championships as well as the Australian Intervarsity Debating Championships, and has served on the executive of the Monash Association of Debaters.
Carmel has an Arts/Science degree from Monash University.
Nora Mansour, Secretary
Since 2005, Noura has been involved in the establishment of debating competitions and events, debating organisations and debating programs internationally.
Noura has also facilitated debating programs and workshops and judged tournaments in countries such as Turkey, Netherlands, Palestine, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, South Korea, Mexico and others.
Noura’s teaching and training experience stretches from elementary schools all the way to universities, with a special focus on training trainers and debate coaches.
She is an organizational consultant and an educator with a masters degree in International Relations and bachelors degree in Education and Political Science
Sam Whitney, Treasurer
Sam Whitney is the current president of the Monash Association of Debaters and is extending his talents to serve additionally as this year’s treasurer on the Free Debate executive.
Sam joins us having just returned from America, where he recently campaigned on behalf of Barack Obama in Ohio, while continuing to study his Arts/Law degree. Sam has debated at the Australasian Intervarsity Debating Championships and coached at both Wesley college and St Catherine’s school, where he has overseen teams through to finals in a state-wide competition. Sam is additionally a senior adjudicator for the Debaters Association of Victoria, where he serves as a regional coordinator.
Barbora was first introduced to debating at Monash University through sheer chance but was soon sucked into the world of debating. She found it to be an incredibly useful skill, particularly in formulating well thought-out arguments and being able to think on your feet. Barbora believes debating is a skill that extends well beyond the debating world and one that can allow people to build confidence in expressing and communicating important ideas, particularly for those who have never had the opportunity to learn the art of persuasive communication.
Sophia has been trying to leave debating for a solid two years but somehow keeps being dragged back into it – but having said that, Free Debate is a group she can really get behind. She’s coached high school students in debating in both Australia and New Zealand, provided public speaking workshops to university students, and convened the Australasian InterVarsity Debating Championships in 2014.
Sophia Frentz is a PhD student in Genetics at the MCRI and the University of Melbourne, looking into potential treatments for early-onset mitochondrial disorders. She’s heavily involved with Women in Science and Engineering, and is a passionate advocate for science communication and diversity in STEM. Her latest passion project is learning Auslan!
Sophia feels like there is a barrier to engaging in political discourse in Australia, and hopes that through her work with Free Debate she can help minimize that barrier for marginalized groups.