Video transcript
2019 Primary Schools State Debating Championships Final

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DYLAN HUYNH: Welcome to the grand final of the 2019 Primary Schools State Debating Championships. Of the five rounds of elite representative debating as well as two semifinals last night, this debate will be between the two most successful regions in this tournament, the Northern Sydney region and the Illawarra Southeast region.

The affirmative team from Northern Sydney region is first speaker, Alex, second speaker, Evelyn, third speaker, Josie, and team advisor, Max. The negative team from Illawarra Southeast region is first speaker, Evie, second speaker, Violet, third speaker, Romany, and team advisor, Luke.

The adjudicators for this debate are Indigo, Guy, and Alex. Each speaker may speak for four minutes. There will be a warning bell at three minutes, with two bells at four minutes to indicate that the speaker's time has expired. A bell will run continuously if a speaker exceeds the maximum time limit by more than one minute.

Finally, before we begin, please ensure that mobile phones are switched off as a courtesy to all speakers. The topic of this debate is that we should ban students from bringing unhealthy food to school. Please welcome the first speaker of the affirmative team to open the debate.

ALEXANDER HARVEY: Right now students are bringing snacks to school that contain unnecessary amounts of sugar and salt. These are the foods that will take control of you, destroy your focus, and destroy your health. School is not the place for unhealthy food. This is what we are here to discuss today.

We the affirmative team define the topic as all kids from K to 12 in schools all across Australia. We will be banned from bringing any food with excessive amounts of sugar, fat, or salt. This excludes foods with natural sugars, such as fruit or other organic products.

Examples of unhealthy foods include things such as donuts, lollies, chips, cakes, and soft drinks. They can instead bring other much healthier foods such as sushi, fresh fruit, hummus and crackers, wraps, and much more. School canteens will also participate in this change. For example, replacing chocolate cupcakes with a much healthier, but still delicious option such as banana muffins.

This is still giving kids a chance to get good, yummy food, but compromising it so that the food will be more healthy. We plan to put this change into place by 2020. I as the first speaker, will be arguing that sugar can decrease concentration and how sugar increases obesity. And our second speaker will be stating sugar will help us support a healthy lifestyle for the future.

Now onto my points. My team's first point show how healthy food falters the concentrating and learning of the ability of children. Right now students are only filling up on absolute junk, such as cakes and donuts, at school. These kinds of foods take over our mind and emotions, resulting in a lack of focus in class.

Even if every student does not eat excessive amounts of sugar, all you need is a few or even one student to be off task to affect the education and focus of the whole class. Every student is a vital piece of the puzzle. If one piece is playing up, then the whole puzzle is unsolvable.

As an example, at recess, there are a group of students that stock up on a large bag of lollies. When they get back to class, they are very hyper and disruptive, disadvantaging their whole class. This is not fair. Students who eat junk in recess and lunch do not have informed consent.

They are often not aware of the consequences that they get. Often at this age, you are not aware of the damage you are doing to your body. They are harming others around them, such as in the classroom. They are harming the education of their students.

And they're also being affected by peer pressure. Let's say if one child is eating a lolly, then they all want to join in and eat the sugar. And they have not developed the required mental capacity to say no to their cravings.

After the change, the focus and education of students will be enriched and thriving. Unhealthy foods are holding us back. Education is the highest priority to students, not food. This is so important, because we want to squeeze the most out of school. Sugar is one of the highest components to lack of concentration. If we ban sugar, we are maximising the capabilities of us as your future generation.

My team's second argument we should help banning unhealthy food will minimise the amount of child obesity. Right now Australia is within the top 10 of child obesity rates in the world. This is not the message that we want to convey to other countries and our own citizens.

The largest contributor to this is bad diet. So many children in Australia have a bad diet and regularly eat junky and unhealthy foods at school. This is a serious problem-- this is a serious problem and a problem that this change will without a doubt minimise.

As an example, look into the lunchbox and diet of students. They often consist of one cake or very sweet item, and a salty and fatty snack, and the occasional item of fruit and veg. No one that Australia has a problem with child obesity. Look at this. This kind of daily sugar intake must be stopped and replaced with a protein and a lot more fruit and veg.

I can guarantee you the amount of child obesity in Australia will come rocketing down after this change. We understand this change will not stop child obesity completely. Obviously, that is impossible. But what it will do is reduce it massively. After the change, Australia will undeniably become one of the healthiest countries in the world.

Great physical health brings great mental health, because it makes you feel more happy with yourself and what you can achieve. This is so important, because happiness and good health is what gives you the ability to learn and live life well. Keeping junk food is keeping child obesity and lowering us as children and as adults our living quality.

EVIE NEILL: OK, so we agree with the affirmative team's definition, but we oppose their arguments. So firstly, some of the foods that they have stated they are not allowed to bring to school can actually have some really good health benefits.

So there's some things that they are banned such as salt. And when you get low salt levels, you can actually get some really bad symptoms such as dizziness. And so if a child does get these symptoms, then they will need to keep up their salt intake. And because it is banned at school, they will no longer be able to take this at a regular basis.

So not all kids go hyper from eating one little snake or like a lollipop. It's just when they have like large doses of these junk foods, such as a bag of lollies. But no child is actually going to bring in a giant bag of family-size Q mix or something. They're not going to do that. They'll probably bring in one, maybe two. And that's really not going to affect their learning much.

When kids do bring in lollies, most of the time they are aware, because parents have told them, don't eat too many, don't eat too much. You'll get hyper or you'll get sick. So probably from past experience, they will know what's going to happen to them. Which means they will probably avoid having this happen at school, because they don't really want to embarrass themselves in front of their friends or something.

Also, some of the things that they listed are unhealthy can have-- have a lot of fat in them or something. Sometimes these things can be actual healthy foods. Sandwiches can involve fat on their fillings or something. And these things have been listed as things that are allowed. So you're not really avoiding this problem.

So now on to my team's points. So my plans today will be it's the parents' choice whether they should be able to bring in junk food or not. And some disadvantaged families can't afford healthier foods, because they're more expensive.

And my second speaker's points will be the selling at the canteen. Because the topic said students are not allowed to bring them to school. It's not that they can't buy them at school. So if they sell them at the canteen, why shouldn't they be able to bring them? And so another reason that she will be putting up is some kids have health reasons, such as diabetes, that need this junk food to keep up their levels of-- so they can stay healthy.

So now to my first point. So parents should be able to feed their children as they see fit. If they want them to eat these foods, then they should be able to. Sometimes these unhealthy foods have reasonings, such as traditions, cultures, or celebrations, or they might just not have time to prepare a healthy meal in the mornings.

So they should be able to choose. It is their child. They do know them better than the government does. So one rule that the government has enforced may not be very good for their child, because of a reason or something.

So right now kids can bring unhealthy food with their parents' permission. Parents have given them-- they've said, yes, you can do this. And so this means that it's allowed for them. So after the change, parents won't be able to feed children as they either need to or as they see fit. So they might not be able to give what they need.

So for example, a child may want to-- a parent may want a child to take cultural food. But they can't, because the guidelines say, no, you can't take this food. And this may be the only thing-- this may be one of the only things they know how to make or something along these lines. And that's important, because people need to give children what they think best.

So now to my second point. Some people don't have the money for healthy food. So right now kids get up and their parents work hard to help feed their family. Disadvantaged families, they give their children whatever food they can afford. So since healthy food is expensive, they provide something that might be slightly unhealthy, but which kids can no longer take to school.

So this is bad, because it's important that they get the food that they need. Because we want children to eat. If they can't afford these healthier foods, then they won't be able to take anything to school. So if people can't provide, then kids won't be able to eat. So the affirmative team is apparently stating we want these kids to become even more undernourished.

So an example of this is a person who's just come to Australia, they don't have the money-- very much money. And that is why we [inaudible].

EVELYN ZHU: In this debate, we have a negative team who wrongly believes that banning unhealthy food is a bad idea and that children should be allowed to have unhealthy food. Well, our affirmative team believes banning unhealthy foods in schools is healthier and better for concentration and teaches children healthy habits.

So the opposition said that children don't have a lot of lollies. They're not going to bring in whole giant packets of lollies just to chow on at school. This is not true. Children do, because they don't really have the mental capacity, or the strength, or the ability to restrain themselves from having something that they like. Which is why the schools need to step in and ban this.

They have to take action to stop our children from being overweight and being really not healthy. They said that parents can tell them, oh, you can't have lollies and that kind of thing. But parents really don't have any control at what happens at school. Say, a child brings in lollies at school and decides to share them with his friends. How can a parent say-- how can they communicate with this random other child that, oh, you can't share food with my child or anything like that.

And also most kids can't really understand or listen to this, because as my first speaker has said, they don't really have this mental capacity. And if they're in a social group and people are bringing in lollies, they kind of have this peer pressure to fit in with this group and keep eating lollies.

They also said that children should have the right to choose whether they get to eat healthy food or not. As we have said, children really don't have the ability to understand if it's unhealthy for them or not. And they don't really have the informed consent to make the right decision for themselves. Because children, if they really like sugar or something, they might not make the right decision, because they are blinded by their like for it.

And also they are still getting some kind of a choice, except that it's a choice between a healthier food or a different healthier food. And this healthier food is still yummy and it's better for them. And also, they said that parents should be able to feed them whatever they want. And this is true, but on weekends, they can still give them whatever they want to have. It's just restricting what happens at school.

They also said that healthy food can be a bit more expensive. Yes, organic food or things like that can be a little more expensive. But are we valuing children's health over money? We want our children to be healthy. We want our children to have a good life. We value this over money.

Also if more people are going to buy healthier things, companies are going to realise that, oh, maybe I might be able to make a bit more profit or something. And they might decrease the amount of money that they will sell their products for. This is kind of happening with more sustainable packaging.

So right now there's quite a big movement going on about how people want better packaging, so more recyclable packaging. And so companies have taken that in mind and have created more paper packaging, more things that can be recycled.

My first point is that our proposal means children will be able to develop healthy habits from a young age. Right now children are bringing in packets of lollies, sugar-loaded cookies, and very sweet chocolate. Children do not have the mental capacity to understand the dangerous consequences of unhealthy food.

So schools need to step in and ban these foods. Imagine your typical child at school. He brings sugar-loaded muesli bars, cookies, and lollies to school every day. He doesn't know the effects sugar and salt has on his liver, his whole body, and his well being. He doesn't have the information to make a good decision.

His school bans unhealthy food and he starts bringing fruit instead. He begins to understand that fruits are better than the old lollies he used to have. He slowly becomes accustomed to the fruits and realise it is much healthier and tastier than his old lollies. If the school, which is kind of an authority to these children, decides sugars need to be banned, he's probably going to make a habit to have fruit.

It's like the government. If the government tells us smoking is bad, we believe them, right? Children believe what the school is telling them. And over time, they will make a habit of picking healthy over unhealthy. It's important for these habits to start young so our future generation knows the right thing to do.

My second point is that healthy food can actually be tastier. So many lollies, chocolates, and unhealthy food tries to replicate the flavour of fruits, for example. But why have the unhealthy option when you could really just have the real fruit? For example, there are so many fruity lollies out there, raspberry, fruit juice, lemon jellies, snakes, and so many more. These foods are flavoured with artificial flavours and colorings and don't taste real.

How can a factory's machine make babies ever compare with mother nature's real fruit? Would you rather have a mango lolly, which is unhealthy, sugary, fake-tasting, or an actual mango? A real fruit or other healthy foods taste so much better and it's actually authentic.

My third argument will explain how this change will majorly benefit the environment. Right now children are bringing mountains of packaging to school. Thank you.

VIOLET FITZSIMONS: So the other team stated that children follow every rule the school sets and they will always listen to the school's guidelines. And the used the example of smoking and how everyone listens to the government when they say smoking is bad. We found this to be quite an ironic example seeing as most people still smoke, even though the government says it is bad. And to this day, people are still getting cancer from it.

But also, children don't always listen to school rules. And it's commonly known that they sneak things into school or break rules commonly, because they are kids. But also, kids will not stop loving junk just because you make them bring apples to school. If not, so they wanted more, because they can't get it at school. So they'll buy it more out of school. And in the end, they'll just be eating more junk food and become more obese.

The other team also stated that the kids can't comprehend for themselves that sugar is bad or they should eat junk food or they should not eat junk food. We think kids is sufficiently intelligent to be educated at school and can be educated on what to eat and what not to eat. And they'll be able to comprehend not an entire family pack of gummy bears at school.

But also, sugary food does come in recyclable packaging. And one of the other team's main arguments was that healthier food is better for the environment. We just didn't see this as true, because all food comes in more recyclable packaging these days. Because as they said, there is a big movement towards that.

[inaudible] that parents don't have much control over kids. And if they bring in a gummy bears to school, they won't be able to do anything about it. Well, realistically, it's the parents' money. They're going to notice if like $10 is gone because they're buying all this candy. Because candy is rather expensive.

But also, parents have more control over kids than the school does. They know their kids better and they see them more than school does. School only has kids like six hours, whereas they have them for 18. It just doesn't make sense.

But also, the other team's other argument was that this machine-made flavours in unhealthy food and they should choose to get the apples, bananas. One of their examples in their first speaker was that for kids to eat banana muffins instead of chocolate muffins. Well, most commonly, there's fake banana essence in there. So they're still getting unhealthy liquids and foods throughout the other team's supposedly healthy foods.

They also stated that kids eating sugar would be able to stop them from concentrating. We actually disagree and think this will give them better concentration and help them in education. We also think that peer pressure doesn't control what children eat. And they can decide for themselves what they eat. Because they're a primary school. It's not like they're all ganging up and saying, eat this gummy bear. No one really cares.

But that's just our arguments towards them. So team's third argument will show that children actually eat more unhealthy under the other team's model. So right now they have a choice to bring unhealthy or healthy foods to school. They can have moderately unhealthy or incredibly healthy foods depending on what the parents want.

And they're not craving unhealthy food, because the parents are giving it to them in set, controlled situations. And they're still getting the majority of the time healthy food. And the parents are already setting guidelines and what they can eat and what they can't eat. They're keeping an eye on kids. And the government doesn't need to.

So after the change, kids will crave unhealthy food, because it's being deprived from them. We'll basically just see the backlash effect here. Because they'll just want food more. They'll buy it more outside of school. The buy it in the school canteen.

They'll sneak into school, which is really easy. Because if you think about it, you can just pour soda into a drink bottle and it looks exactly like water. So they can sneak it into very easily and the teachers would never be able to tell. But, yeah, basically, they'll just want it more. And they'll become actually addicted to junk food, whereas now, they're actually having perfect amounts and nothing is actually going wrong.

But also realistically, the school doesn't have that much control over kids. They only control them for six hours in the day. And even though they'll still be sneaking junk food in, that's only one fourth of the day. And at home, parents just have more control over what kids eat. And under the parents' supervision, seeing as they know the kid better than the government do, the kids will just be healthier and happier generally.

So this is important, because the main topic in this debate is obviously obesity and if kids are healthy or not. And we find it quite ironic that the other team themselves of actually supporting obesity within their argument and within their model by making kids actually more addicted to this sort of food.

And at the end of the day, all we're going to see is backlash and kids wanting junk food more. So even if the opposition manages not to cause this catastrophic backlash effects on kids, they will still be encouraged to junk food more out of school. Because they're not eating in school, parents think it's better if they eat excess at parties or outside of school. And they'll just end up eating more junk food anyway.

And on to my next point. So my team's final argument will show that children with medical issues will be greatly disadvantaged by the affirmative's model. So right now kids with medical issues can bring in the required food, which is often very salty or very sugary. They can receive the necessary attention they need. And this is vital for their safety at school. Because if they don't receive it, they can faint or get dizzy spells.

So a great example of this is a kid with diabetes. They need to bring sugar to school. And they need to have this otherwise they can experience nausea, dizziness, and aggressiveness. And this would greatly affect their education. And we couldn't allow them to be disadvantaged just because they were born with a disease.

And to get their sugar levels high, they will need unhealthy foods such as jelly snakes or gummy bears, which the other team has already banned. So after the change, kids can't receive medical attention and will fall into these illnesses, which is absolutely atrocious. Because at school, they should be able to feel safe and receive the proper education, no matter what health level you are at.

This will impair their learning. And even if the other team finds a substitute for the sugar that they can take, this will probably be more expensive, the families can't afford this, and probably more painful towards the child.

This is important, because medical issues should not disadvantage learning towards any child. And every child has the right to the same education and attention at school. Not just because they're banning sugar that they vitally need if they have diabetes. And that is why we proud to negate.

JOSIE JOHNSON: OK, so in this debate, we have a negative team who are trying to tell me a few things. First thing that they are trying to get across is that children should have the right to choose and that they have the mental capacity to choose. Because children are smart, they're not dumb. Well, yes, this is what they're saying.

But really, this is K to 12. Do you think that K to 2 students or even 3 to 6 students have the mental capacity to go, OK, this is bad for me, so I'm not going to eat it? No, they see sugar, they want to eat it. Because that's just what they're taught.

They don't have the brain that's functioning enough to think this could be bad for me down the road, so I'm not going to have it. They see something they want and they have it. And parents can't control what happens when these kids go to school. Do you really think every kid is going to listen when the parent says, don't eat junk food. Now go to school where I can't supervise you. And no one's really watching exactly what you eat.

Kids aren't going to take this opportunity to just do what their parents say. If they want sugar, they're going to have it. They're not just not going to do it because their parents say. I think we're underestimating the amount of rebelism that these kids have. But if the parents packed them healthy food in to begin with, this couldn't happen. Because look, they're not getting the food to trade with. They're having a food that's healthy in the first place, which will help them.

They have also tried to say that canteens, for example, are giving them unhealthy food. Why aren't we addressing this? They're giving out unhealthy food. We have stated in our model that canteens will get onto this train and do this too.

They have tried to tell you that this will actually increase obesity. And this is one of their main points. Because people were buy it more outside of school. Firstly, how much money do you think these kids have? Yes, unhealthy food is cheaper. But it is not like it's $1 to get a whole packet. It's still going to cost them a bit of money.

They can't buy excess food, because in the right call, the parents are giving those money. They can't just find the money and keep it. They need to get it from somewhere. They to source it. And that is majorally from the parents from doing chores and stuff.

They'll need to save quite a lot of, especially younger kids, just to get a packet of lollies. Because the parents aren't actually giving them this much. And also these parents love their kids. And [inaudible] they're going to give them mountains of sugar. If they can't buy it, if they're parents aren't giving it to them, what do you mean they're going to get it?

Yes, of course, there's a possibility to get it from other kids. But if the parents aren't doing this either, how is this going to happen? We're kind of cancelling this out. Also, they've been taught to eat more healthy food more often.

When you were doing this, when you were younger, school is probably the majority of the time that you're spending besides, of course, sleeping. So this is the majority of time we are getting those habits. We are learning how to react to these types of things, what to do.

So if they learn from young age by example when their brain is still developing and can take stuff in that they should eat healthy, they are eventually going to do this. Because they used to this change. Then they're like, OK, I have to eat healthy. This is something that I've been taught from younger.

So it's therefore more likely that these kids later on will be able to eat healthy. They've been taught by a younger age and can be accustomed to it. So we're not going to let them eat unhealthy from like K to 6 and then Year 7, say, OK, now I have to eat unhealthy. They're going to be accustomed to this. I know how to react.

Plus they're saying that we're not taking care of the kids who have medical stuff. Firstly, how are you kids do you think at school have things such as diabetes? This normally generate when you're older. Plus you get diabetes as a source from eating too much junk food in the first place. So I don't really think this is a problem.

But sure, kids with sugar levels really do have this. But this isn't 100% the school's responsibility. This does happen. What do you think they're more likely to do? Take care of a child you don't know much about or call a hospital our bigger source that could take care of them better?

This goes for more likely a better thing. They're not just going to take care of students, especially with this change. So yes, they are taking care of the students, but they're putting it to more reliable hands that can actually do something. Yes, the school might have some of their needs but not all of them, because they know they're not the best people to do this.

They've also said that some kids might not be able to eat cultural food, because it might be unhealthy. But really, how much cultural food which is normally made at home, say Indian or Italian, is actually that unhealthy? It is normally pretty good food that is good for you.

They've also said that things like banana muffins that we suggested are healthy aren't actually, because they don't contain stuff. When they're made home-- when they are homemade, like we are suggesting, because many canteens already do this and it's something that they already do, they are putting banana flavouring. That would taste disgusting. I don't actually think that exists.

They're using real bananas and real bananas. It's happening with a lot of other things, which is creating great healthy food. Our team, however, has said this is great for concentration, because of the lack of focus is gone. Because it can help the teachers and the kids with better concentration and better work.

We have also said that it changes obesity. Because we are in the top 10 and this needs to change. This isn't good for our kids. Our second speaker says that this introduces healthy habits, helping kids be more accustomed to this, so they can do it later on in life when they're not restricted.

They've also said it is tastier. And sometimes organic can actually be better, because it's better for you and it gives you hormones, which is good for you. Thank you.

ROMANY JANSSENS: So I thought the three main themes in this debate. If this for health and obesity. If this is affordable for parents that are disadvantaged. And also if this is ultimately the parent's choice. So I'm going to start with health.

So you said that there's a massive problem in the world, that obesity is on the rise, and that we need to stop kids from getting obese. And then you said that it is still a parent's choice. They can just eat on the weekends. If you just say it's OK to just eat it on the weekends, that's exactly what kids are going to do.

They're going to go into the six hours of school. They're going to have two meals. And then straight away as they get home, they're just going to eat what they want. This isn't going to-- one school rule with high in salt and high in sugars isn't going to change a family's diet and what they eat. it's just not going to work. It doesn't just change that quickly.

Also, you said that kids will-- one of your points were that kids will get distracted in class, because they've been eating high sugar and salt. Yes, this is true that you can get distracted in class. But there are actually other healthy foods that have bad things in them like artificial flavours and preservatives, which are actually really even worse than some sugar.

Because sugars, yes, it can make them crazy, but these artificial flavours and artificial preservatives are in their mind. And it makes kids upset and angry. And it messes with their brain more. And artificial flavourings will mess with their brains more than sugars that are more natural, sugar and salt, than artificial flavours and colorings.

And then you said schools can't cater for everyone for the people that have diabetes. So you're just kind of saying, oh, we'll just chuck them in hospitals and they can deal with it. We can't just deal with everyone. This is completely wrong.

So you're going to say that a kid can't have a snack because he's going low in sugars and he needs more sugar, you're just going to wait for someone medically to come? That is dumb. You're just costing a student's life for your dumb little rule that isn't going to actually help many people. So that's just crazy that you would think that that's a good idea.

Now in that one I've stated and also disadvantaged people, there are people-- the kids-- so let's give an example here. In disadvantaged families, the parents get up early. They go to work to try and support their family. And they only have not that long to shop so they can get back to home.

They only have time to grab some chips and grab some cheap food. And kids, while they go to work and try to help the family, kids, they're making their own lunch. They don't have time to go to the fridge. And they don't have time to make up a healthy salad for a sandwich. They don't have time for this.

And this is the sad case. And also rural families, they have-- some have little tiny shops ages away. And because of the drought at the moment, they don't have many fresh and good foods for those rural disadvantaged families, because it's too expensive out there.

So they can't actually have that healthy food in those disadvantaged areas in the drought, because that's not going to help. So yeah, rural families.

And there's also other alternatives to not punish the kids for having unhealthy food. Because ultimately, it's not the children's fault that they have this unhealthy food. It's because their family hasn't been brought up in the best way and they haven't had the best life during this.

So there are other alternatives. You can be like, you can acknowledge the people that have a healthier lunch. Good job, you have a healthy lunch. Instead of saying, you've got an unhealthy lunch. You need to do better next time. And just making them feel worse. Also, this is ultimately the parent's choice if they want their kid to be healthy.

So they've stated that this is health and obesity. We think this is wrong, because it's better for them to have food than to make sure-- for them to have food. And then they can actually feed for the disadvantaged families than they're having to make sure it's healthy later in life.

And they also said something about late in life. It's not going to change their family's ways just from their being healthy. Also, you said it is going to disrupt the class. This is wrong, because there are healthy foods that have preservatives.

And you said that there will be less packaging. This is completely wrong, because you can buy salads from the healthy section with a big plastic bottle with a plastic top. So it's not always plastic with the mayo in the plastic. This is not true. So for those reasons, that's why I'm proud to negate.

ALEX DE ARAUJO: Awesome. So firstly, obviously it is a huge achievement to get in front of a massive crowd of people and give the debate that we just saw. But it's an even bigger achievement to make it to the finals of this competition in itself. Because that means you have to go through the 10 best debating teams in primary school in New South Wales. And that is amazing.

You have to go through three gruelling days of debating. These teams have to go through a gruelling semi final. And I think they absolutely deserve a second round of applause.

All three adjudicative on that panel agree that this was an absolutely incredible debate. And in particular, we thought that the delivery of all six speakers was absolutely outstanding. We thought that the rebuttal and comprehensiveness of rebuttal from both teams was absolutely incredible.

They refused to give anything up throughout the whole debate. And the fact that every speaker was trying to tussle on pretty much every single important part of the debate all through the end from the very start was a real credit to both teams that we saw today.

We also thought, finally, that the range of arguments from both teams was really impressive. We didn't just hear the standard predictable arguments about a small group of children. We heard arguments about other groups of children and we thought that both teams were really good at expanding the debate into groups of people who you wouldn't ordinarily think about, who wouldn't be at the forefront of your mind, but nonetheless, were definitely important and really great to bring up. So we thought they did incredible job there.

However, while we thought this debate was incredibly high quality, we didn't think it was without its flaws. And in particular, a few stood out for us. So the first was that teams needed to be a bit more aware of inherent contradictions in their case.

So the one that stood out for us the most was both teams were very unclear about how much money and how much availability they had to access junk food, both in a world with junk food in the school and both without. So we heard from the kids right now would have heaps of money and eat junk food. But when it's banned, they'll magically have no money to buy it elsewhere.

And on the other side, we heard the kids right now have no money and can't eat junk food, because they're responsible. But when it's bad, they'll magically get all this money and they'll be able to buy it everywhere at every street corner. So just be really careful about contradictions in your case, especially when they relate to two very important points.

The second thing that we thought teams could have done a little bit better is to keep arguments going. So in particularly, from the affirmative we thought that was a really great argument about educational benefits, which ironically, was the very first argument in the debate and wasn't really brought up as the debate went on.

But secondly, from the negative, we thought ideas like affordability and how people couldn't afford this food could also have been developed a little bit later as it went on. So if you have a really good argument, make sure to try and bring it up with all speakers. The final piece of feedback that we'll give to both teams is to really weigh up at the end of each argument why that argument is important.

So we had arguments which related to a big group of people. We had arguments which relate to small, but important groups of people. And it was really up to both teams to make sure that they weighed those two groups against each other and explained in detail why those things are important.

So the way we saw this debate was in three issues. The first was did students have a right to take unhealthy foods to school. The second was how the unhealthy foods impact students' health. And the third was how unhealthy foods impact students' education.

On the first, whether they have a right, affirmative tell us that they don't, because they can't provide informed consent to the harms. Because they're unaware of the consequences to harming others around, they're affected by peer pressure, and they haven't developed a proper mental capacity.

In response, negative tell us that the parents can regulate consumption and advise children about the risks, and the kids to be educated at school. But we thought here affirmative did a slightly better job of actually painting a realistic picture through clear examples of how kids would see a bunch of lollies at school and not be able to control themselves and have a bunch as opposed to the largely abstract kind of logical abstract pictures that we got from the negative team.

However, the negative do also tell us that parents should have the freedom of choice to give their kids whatever they want, because some unhealthy foods, especially, are cultural or convenient. Affirmative responded to this throughout their case when they say that most food is probably fine. It's almost exclusively healthy and that you can give them whatever you like on weekends.

So at the end of this issue, we thought we didn't necessarily have a right to eat junk food. And it may be more responsible to get rid of it. But certainly, that wasn't enough to decide the debate. What was more important was how unhealthy foods impacts children's health.

So affirmative tell us that Australia has an obesity problem, which starts at school. And removing unhealthy food will massively reduce it and also lead to long-term healthy habits. The negative team have a few responses. They tell us that it's important to get some fats and salts and also that healthier foods also might have some harmful things like preservatives.

The panel felt here that affirmative, again, painted a slightly better and clearer picture of how specifically sugar would make you distracted, and hyper, and a little bit crazy, whereas the harm of things like preservatives was left a little bit more unexplained and a little bit more unambiguous.

And especially given that affirmative tell us that other foods have things like low levels of fats and salt was unclear how the harm would be big enough to have a significant effect on those children. But negative also tell us that it would be most important that parents would just give them some sort of bad food or unhealthy foods on the weekends.

Here affirmative are able to tell us that parents wouldn't just cave in if they did love their kids. And the clear benefit that they outlined of health in schools was a little bit more crystallised and a little bit more explained in detail, as were many points from the affirmative team, compared to the idea that parents would just be giving them whatever they wanted on weekends.

So we thought that there was some considerable health benefits we had for the majority of schoolkids. However, negative then give us three more points of substantive. So first, they tell us parents might provide something which is slightly unhealthier, but allows them to eat food. Because for many disadvantaged families, the alternative for those people is nothing.

Affirmative give us a few responses, especially the second speaker. And they tell us that we would rather value health over money even if it is expensive. And more importantly, that if heaps of people are buying junk food or healthier food rather, the prices would go down. And this is quite clever and needed some sort of response from team negative.

Secondly, negative team tells us that it's medically necessary for some kids and that some children need to bring sugar into school. We think affirmative definitely could have done a better job of responding to this. And we think negative were right in telling us that this group is important. But I left it unclear how large this group was.

And we thought that overall, given that the affirmative were able to point to health benefits for pretty much every student at school, the negative could only point to a small group of kids. And it was unclear, given how small they presumably were, how important that they would be.

So while this might be harmful to some kids, we thought the big benefits of health for the majority slightly outweighed this. Finally, on how unhealthy foods impact student education. We heard from the affirmative's first speaker, unhealthy foods can be kids too much energy, which distracts middle class. And even one student playing up means the whole class can't work.

We thought that while the affirmative didn't do as well a job as they could have of keeping this in the debate, we thought similarly the negative could have responded to it a little bit more. We thought that, ultimately, there would be some educational benefit to the classroom, at least, to getting rid of junk food.

So ultimately, what we believe as a panel is that in terms of principle, people didn't necessarily have the inherent right to eat junk food. And indeed, the health benefits and educational benefits to the majority of school children was enough to slightly outweigh the serious benefits, which would unfortunately only accrue to only a small group of people.

So because of this in an incredibly high quality and incredibly close debate, we've narrowly given it to the affirmative team.

DYLAN HUYNH: A speaker will now congratulate the winning team.

LUKE DIGGELMANN: Good job, guys. You did a really good job. As he said, it was very, very close. Hey, we all make it to the finals. Good job.

DYLAN HUYNH: A speaker from the winning team will now respond.

MAX TANCRED: You guys are such a strong team. It was such a close debate, probably our closest one in the whole competition. And you're an amazing team. And we thought that you put up a really good fight.

And also, we would like to also thank all the other teams in making this competition so close and so enjoyable to debate against all the other teams.

FACILITATOR: For one last time we're going to welcome up the state semifinalists and runners up the 2019, the Illawarra and Southeast representative team. So first of all, one last congratulations to third speaker Romany. Second, Violet. First, Evie. Well done.

And of course, to their coach this year who is Bell Shanks. Congratulations, guys. Outstanding. And now you're 2019 champions. Please welcome up first of all, first speaker, Alex. Second speaker, Evelyn. Third speaker, Josie. And fourth speaker, Max.

And congratulations to their coach, the winning coach for 2019, Liz Dibbell. Well done. Ladies and gentlemen, the 2019 Primary Schools State Debating champions.

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