The Monash Association of Debaters (MAD) has continued its dominant run of intervarsity success, taking out the Australasian Intervarsity Debating Championships (affectionately known as Australs) over the semester break. The win at Australs, which was this year held in Wellington, New Zealand, has cemented MAD’s status as the best debating society in the Southern Hemisphere following the club’s triumph at the World Universities Debating Championships (WUDC) earlier in the year.
Monash made history at Australs, becoming the first institution to send two teams into the grand final. Monash 1, consisting of Kiran Iyer, Madeline Schultz and Chris Bisset, defeated Monash 2, Gemma Buckley, James Beavis and Colette Mintz, arguing on the topic “That we should introduce good Samaritan laws.” The debate was an incredibly tightly contested affair, and the five-four split amongst the nine-person adjudication panel was indicative of this.
Individual achievements sweetened MAD’s success with Chris Bisset being crowned best speaker of the competition and taking home the Martin Sorenson Trophy. Kiran Iyer was awarded the Jock Faneslow Trophy for best speaker in the grand final.
This victory continues a proud history of success at the club. MAD has made the Australs grand final fourteen times, and won the competition nine times. It is also the reigning back-to-back WUDC Champion of 2011 and 2012
Australs is the second largest international debating competition behind WUDC. More than 300 students from countries as diverse as Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand participated in this year’s competition. Teams competed in eight preliminary rounds, debating topics including international peace and security, ethics, economics and social policy before the top 16 teams went through to the finals competition.
MAD sent six teams to the competition, all of whom finished inside the top 30. Four of MAD’s adjudicators also qualified to judge the finals series, making 2012 an incredibly successful Australs campaign.
Former MAD president and current Australasian and World champion Kiran Iyer said he was incredibly proud of the contingent. “To have the grand-final contested solely by Monash debaters is a remarkable achievement.”