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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

Entries in the Premier's Debating Challenge for Years 7 and 8 have closed for 2023. Please call the Speaking Competitions Officer on (02) 8512 1172 or email if you've missed out and need to request a late entry.

For the schools who have entered, we've started work on the draws and planning for the 2023. We'll keep you updated, and you should have the draw and all the information you need for the year by the end of Term 1, with the first round of debating due to be completed by the end of Week 7 Term 2.

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.


Justine Clarke
Speaking Competitions Officer
The Arts Unit
The debating team
The Arts Unit

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