The Premier's Debating Challenge for Years 7 and 8

Open to NSW government school students, the competition culminates in a three-day championship camp that includes workshops with some of the state's most experienced adjudicators. 

debating team

Latest news

The 10 regional champions have been decided and the teams are busy planning their trip to the state championships! Those will take place as a 3-day debating tournament at the Women's College of the University of Sydney, and you can download all the information about that camp here if you're one of the lucky schools involved or just want to see how things work: 2023 Years 7 and 8 State Debating Championships information (PDF 473.51 KB)

Region Champion
Hunter/Central Coast Narara Valley High School
Illawarra and South East Aurora College
New England Guyra Central School
North Coast Byron Bay High School
Northern Sydney Epping Boys High School
Riverina Hay War Memorial High School
South Western Sydney Macquarie Fields High School
Sydney St George Girls High School
Western NSW Dubbo College South Campus
Western Sydney The Ponds High School

You can use this link to see a summary of the teams in their zones and their win/loss record, and you can also download the official 2023 Years 7 and 8 Debating information (PDF, 1.07 MB). Thanks to all the teachers and students who competed in 2023 and best of luck to the remaining finalists!

About the competition

The Years 7 and 8 age division was introduced in 1998 so that for the first time students could debate in a state-wide competition all the way from Year 5 up to Year 12. Today, debating topics cover a wide range of contemporary issues relevant to junior secondary students. Every debate in the challenge is a one hour preparation debate, so that teams do not know the topic or which side of the debate they are on until one hour before the debate starts. The state champion team will be awarded The Lloyd Cameron Cup which is named in honour of the longest-serving Speaking Competitions Officer.

Format of the competition

Teams will be organised into zones of six (occasionally fewer depending on entries) and will receive their draw before the start of Term 2. Each team will complete 3 debates against other teams from their zone whenever suits them before mid-Term 3. Once those 3 rounds are completed the team(s) with the best record will be declared the zone champions.

Zone champions move on to a regional knockout finals series following which the 10 regional champion teams attend a 3-day championships tournament in Sydney. The championships camp will run in December and includes workshops with some of the state's most experienced adjudicators.

Watch past Years 7 and 8 state finals

NSW Premier’s Debating Challenge 2022 - Years 7 and 8 state final


313 teams across the state entered the Years 7 and 8 challenge in 2022, with just 10 of them winning their way to a state championships tournament held at The Women’s College of the University of Sydney from Wednesday 7 to Friday 9 December.

NSW Premier’s Debating Challenge 2020 - Years 7 and 8 State Final


This is the final of the Years 7 and 8 division of the challenge, which was held over Zoom on Thursday 10 December 2020.