Our Members

On this page you can find a list of our members, past and present.

Victor Finkel


Victor has been passionate about debating since his first debate in year 7 gave him such an adrenalin high that he was unable to sleep. As a competitive debater, Victor has reached the Grand Final of the World Masters Debating Championships, the World University Debating Championships and the Australasian Intervarsity Debating Championships.

Victor is currently the Member Training Officer of the Monash Association of Debaters. In this capacity he designs and facilitates training programmes for university debaters of all levels, from absolute beginners with no confidence in public speaking to elite competitive level. Victor has also coached in Japan, Hong Kong and Malaysia, and coached the 2007 DAV A-Grade State Champions.

Aside from debating, Victor holds a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance from Monash University, and a Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering, which is actually rocket science!

Kim Little


Kim won the World Debating Championships and the Australasian Debating Championships in 2000 where she was judged best debater in Australasia. Kim has been guest speaker at numerous public debates. Kim has coached high schools students, university debaters in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, maximum security prisoners, and new migrants.

Kim is a former member of the academic staff in the Monash School of Philosophy and Bioethics, and was a founding member and project manager of the Monash University Centre for Public Philosophy. Kim completed her Monash University Law degree in 2002, winning the Supreme Court Prize. In 2003 she completed her Master of Arts in Philosophy and is a recipient of the Monash Master of Arts Prize.

Elizabeth Sheargold


Liz has been involved in debating since 2000. In 2000 and 2001 she was a member of the Victorian Schools Team, who won the 2001 National Championships, and was also a member of the Australian Schools Team who were Runners-Up at the World Schools Debating Championships in 2002. Liz is also a three-time winner of the Australian Women’s Intervarsity Debating Championships (2002, 2004 and 2005). In 2006 she was named “Best Speaker” at the Australasian Intervarsity Debating Championships.

Liz has been coaching and adjudicating debating teams since 2002. In 2005, 2006 and 2007 she was the Coach of the Victorian Schools Team, after being Assistant Coach in 2004. In 2005 she was the Schools Administrator of the DAV, where she ran one of the worlds largest school debating competitions, involving over 10,000 students. She has also been involved in many regional development programs for the Debaters Association of Victoria (DAV), running coaching sessions and competitions in a variety of rural areas. Liz is a past President of the Melbourne University Debating Society, and is currently the President of the Australian Debating Federation Inc.

Liz works as a lawyer and has a combined degree in Law and Arts (majoring in History and International Politics).

Roland Dillon

Roland Dillon Photo

Roland has been active in debating and adjudicating since 1996. In 1996 and 1997 Roland was Captain of the South Australian Schools Team, which won the 1997 National Championships. While at Monash University, Roland won the Australasian Debating Championship in 2004 and 2006, was awarded the Jock Faneslow Trophy as best speaker of the Grand Final and named “2nd best speaker” of the tournament. Roland has also won World Masters (Malaysia) and the World Schools Debating Championship (Israel) representing Australia. Roland has been invited to coach and adjudicate in Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, Hong Kong and the Netherlands.

In addition to debating, Roland has participated in the Jessup Moot, the Oxford Model United Nations (MUN), the Cambridge MUN and the Harvard MUN and was awarded speaker awards in each case. Over 2005-2006 Roland acted as head delegate and coach of the United Netherlands delegation attending the Harvard MUN, which received the highest possible honour of Best International Delegation. Roland was also a board member of this organisation and contributed to numerous training programs and conferences in this capacity.

In 2006, Roland graduated from Monash with a degree in Law and an honours degree in Arts having completed a thesis on the relationship between economic and political development in contemporary China (with a focus on Environmental NGOs).

Nicole Lynch


Nicole has been highly involved in debating since 2003. Nicole debated in the World Masters Grand Final for Australia in Vancouver, reached the Quarter Finals of the Australasian Intervarsity Debating Championships in 2007 and has adjudicated the ESL Grand Final and the Quarterfinals of the World University Debating Championships. Nicole has coached students at University and School level in Australia. In 2007 she was funded by the Australia-Japan Foundation to travel to Japan to teach debating to Japanese students as part of a cultural exchange with the Japanese Parliamentary Debating Union.

Nicole served on the committee of the Melbourne University Debating Society for 5 years, including as President from 2006-2007. She is the former Vice President (Women’s Affairs) and current Vice President (Australia) of the Australasian Intervarsity Debating Association. She is also the former Vice President (Schools) of the Debating Association of Victoria.

Nicole is currently studying at the University of Melbourne where she is completing an Arts/Law degree and a Diploma of Modern Languages in Arabic.

Kylie Lane


Kylie has been an active participant in debating and adjudicating since 1999. Kylie was named “Best Speaker” at the World Universities Debating Championships in 2005 where she was also a semi-finalist. Kyle was also a finalist at the 2004 World Universities Debating Championships. Kylie won the Australasian Debating Championships in 2004 where she was named 8th best speaker. Kylie was a Deputy Chief Adjudicator for the 2006 Australasian Debating Championships to in Wellington, New Zealand.

Kylie is a former treasurer of the Monash Association of Debaters and was Chief Adjudicator of the Australian Womens’ British Parliamentary Debating Championships at Monash University in 2004. Kylie has coached students at universities in Australia, Thailand and Malaysia. Kylie was a member of the Runner-Up Monash University at the World Finals of the WTO International Trade Law moot in Geneva in 2004. Kylie is a board member of the Education Foundation, a national independent, non-profit organisation in Australia that strengthens public education by investing private monies (philanthropic and corporate) into primary and secondary schools.

Kylie graduated from Monash with honours degrees in Economics and Law, and a Diploma of Languages (Japanese) in 2004. Kylie is a solicitor in Melbourne with law firm Blake Dawson Waldron.

Lucia Pietropaoli


Lucia has been involved in the debating community since 2000. She has represented the University of Melbourne at domestic, Australasian and World debating championships as a debater and adjudicator. In 2002, she was awarded “Second Best Speaker” of Australian intervarsity championships and in 2006 she reached the grand final of the competition. In the same year she reached the quarter-finals of the World Debating championships. She has adjudicated the Grand final of Australasian in 2004.

Lucia is a former secretary of the Debaters Association of Victoria and a past president of the Melbourne University Debating Society. She has been active as an adjudicator and senior trainer for the schools competition since 2000.

Lucia traveled to Japan in 2004, 2005 and 2006 to teach debating to Japanese students as part of the Australia/Japan foundation program for cultural exchange and the Japanese Parliamentary Debating Union. Lucia is currently completing a Ph.D in politics at Melbourne University.

Alex Burt


Alex has been involved in the debating community since 1996. Alex was in the ACT Schools team in 1996 and 1997. Alex attended various tournaments at a domestic, Australasian and world level. She reached the quarter-finals of the Australasian in 2002 and was ranked in the best speaker group at Australs in 1998. She adjudicated internally at ANU and was a senior adjudicator for the ACT Debating Union. She has selected ANU representatives for Worlds and Australasian competitions. Alex was Treasurer and Vice-President of the ANU Debating Society.

Alex currently works as a lawyer at Victoria Legal Aid. She produces and presents a program called “Done by Law” and has trained groups in aspects of radio production at 3CR Community Radio. She has also provided training in communication skills for Lifeline Australia. She is currently a volunteer Migration Agent at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. Alex graduated in Arts and with Honours in Law from ANU in 2003.

Tim Sonnreich


Tim has been involved in the debating community since 1998. Tim won three Australasian Intervarsity Debating Championships (2000, 2001, 2004) and was twice named “Best Speaker in Australasia” (2002, 2003). Tim was also a Runner-up at the 2003 World University Debating Championships, and in 2004 won the World Master’s Competition representing Australia. Tim is also an internationally recognised adjudicator and coach. Tim has been invited on numerous occasions to train debaters at universities in Australia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, The Philippines, South Korea and Japan.

Tim was formerly President of the Monash Association of Debaters (MAD), Vice President (Australia) of the Australasian Intervarsity Debating Association (AIDA), Oceania Representative for the World University Debating Council (WUDC) and Vice President of the Debaters Association of Victoria (DAV) – in which he is still ranked as a “Senior Trainer”. Tim was a Founding Member and twice Editor of the Monash Debating Review (MDR).

In 2002 Tim completed a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Politics, and is currently a part-time post-graduate student at Monash University completing a Master of Arts focused on Australian security and defence policies – particularly as it relates to terrorism and transnational crime. Since 2005 Tim has been employed as a researcher in the Private Office of the Premier of Victoria.

Rebekah Hamed


Bek is a Lifetime Fellow and former President of the Australian National University (ANU) Debating Society. Bek was also involved with the Australian Capital Territory Debating Union, serving as the university representative on the committee and as a senior adjudicator for several years.

Recently, Bek chief adjudicated the 2005 Australian Womens’ Debating Championship in Canberra. In 2004, Bek completed Bachelor degrees in Science and Law, including an Australian National Internship in legislation policy with the Department of Environment and Heritage. While at university, she was involved (debating aside) in student organising with the ANU Students’ Association and the National Union of Students, directing an Orientation Week and convening the campus Amnesty International group and Volunteers Association.

Bek moved to Melbourne in January 2005 to take up a position with the Department of Sustainability and Environment, and though she misses the bush capital, she’s very much enjoying the film and arts scene Melbourne has on offer. In her spare time, Bek knits and plays bass guitar, badly.

Amit Golder


Amit has been an avid debater, trainer and adjudicator since 2002. Amit is the current coach of the Victorian State Debating Team and is also the current Vice President (Schools) of the Debaters Association of Victoria. Amit has trained debaters in Hong Kong, Malaysia and all across Victoria!

During school, Amit won the DAV B Grade division and was a member of the Victorian State Debating Team in 2004. At university, Amit has been ranked as the best speaker in Australia (2006), best speaker and winner at the Australasian Championships (2009) and third best speaker and semi finalist at the World Universities Debating Championships. Amit is also a three-time winner of the Australian British Parliamentary Debating Championships.

After completing a 3-month internship at the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet, Amit now works as a part-time Policy Officer. Before this, Amit worked for two and a half years at the Melbourne Assessment Prison.

Amit Golder continues to be actively involved in FreeDebate and returned to contribute to the 2013 Enabling Day presentation.

Rob Koh

Rob has been involved in debating since 1989 as a debater, adjudicator, coach and tournament convenor. Rob has coached school students, international students, newly-arrived migrants from a wide range of countries and people with learning disabilities.

Rob coached the South Australian Schools Debating Team in 1999 and 2000 and the Australian Schools Team in 2001 and 2002. Rob was also a member of the highly successful South Australian A Grade adults team “ 1.5 Asians” which won the A Grade competition each year from 1997 to 2000.

Rob has degrees in management, commerce and law and has undertaken postgraduate studies in corporate finance. Rob works in Melbourne for Morgan Stanley.

Jacqui Duong


Jacqui is a passionate debating advocate with a strong background in coaching and adjudication, aside from having debated nationally. She has been a trainer and adjudicator for the Debaters Association of Victoria (DAV) since 2009 and has coached a DAV B-grade team to the 2011 state grand final and an A-grade team to the state grand final in 2012.

Jacqui completed an Arts degree focussing on Journalism and English at Monash University, an institution she has represented in debating adjudication at Australasian and World Championships. Jacqui is a past Vice President of Free Debate and while she has left Melbourne for bigger and better things, we hope to see her again soon.

Sam Greenland


Sam has been involved in debating as a speaker, coach, adjudicator and administrator since 1993. Originally from the UK, he has taught debating to teenagers and adults in Europe, Asia and Australia, including a stint as the coach of the Hong Kong national schools team.Sam also qualified as a teacher in NSW, and is the author of several academic research articles on the use of debating as a tool to teach critical thinking skills at secondary and tertiary level. He continues to research and speak in this field at conferences, when not holding down a full-time job.

Sam admits that despite his speaking prowess, he has been defeated every time he has faced a former student in a competitive debate.