Ian Murphy Memorial Debate

The Club supports Corowa High School's entry each year into this District wide debating competition.  Most years the school enters a team of year 11 students who debate with other schools in an elimination competition starting July and culminating in the final debate at the District Conference in March.

2018-12-19 Ian Murphy Memorial Debate


This week the Club hosted the 3rd Round of the Ian Murphy Memorial Debate 2018-19

Corowa High School vs. Albury High School.

The topic was “ That the greatest enemy of society is apathy not ignorance.”

Teams were:

Affirmative from Corowa High School : Olivia Rolls, Ellen Lavis and Valerio Jansezian, coached by Maree Falconer and supported by Neil and Maree Lavis.

Negative form Albury High School : Aylish Jorgensen, Rachel Goodwin and Luke Lee, coached by Sarah Toole and supported by 4 Rotarians from Albury RC.

Adjudicators: Ann Ovens, Lee McDonald and Linda Martin (Albury).

In the end it was a very close debate with the Negative (AHS) winning. We wish them luck in the future debates.

CHS Team pictured includes our French exchange student Benoit Turmeau

2018-11-21 Ian Murphy Memorial Debate


This week’s our club held a round of the Ian Murphy Memorial Debate between Corowa High School (affirmative) and Trinity (negative). The topic was:

“Despite the number of communications devices, we have stopped communicating.”

This is the second round of the Ian Murphy Memorial Debating Competition. There are three rounds, followed by a final, which is held at the District Conference. This means it will be held in Melbourne on Saturday, February 16th next year.

Representing the Affirmative Team, from Corowa High School were: Olivia, Ellen and Valerio. They were coached by Mrs Falconer.

Representing the Negative Team, from Trinity Anglican College were: Shannyn, Sarah and Arwen. They were coached by Mr Kilgour.

Our Adjudicators were Mr. James Maden (RC of Rutherglen), Mrs. Lee McDonald (representing the RC of Corowa) and Mrs. Mary Whitticombe (RC of Albury North).

It was a very close debate but the eventual winners were COROWA HIGH SCHOOL.

Thanks must go to all the Rotarians who travelled to attend the debate, to the teachers and supporters who helped prepare the teams, our adjudicators for their advice and comments after the debate and to the students themselves for an excellent contest. Stay tuned for information about Round 3!!

2017-03-16 Congratulations Corowa High School Debaters.

Congratulations to our debating team of Hayley Cordwell, John Schnelle and David Strachan on finishing Runners-up at the final of the Ian Murphy Memorial Rotary debate against Tallangatta. The debate took place at the D9790 Conference in Shepparton. Fabulous effort by the team and their chauffeur and coach Mrs Falconcer. John Schnelle was also awarded the best speaker. 

2016-12-01 Ian Murphy Memorial Debate

Congratulations to the Corowa High School Senior Debating team of Hayley Cordwell, David Strachan and John Schnelle, and their coach Mrs. Falconer, who won their debate for the Ian Murphy Rotary Debating Competition held at Cobram.

Their win puts them into the Grand Final to take place next March at the Rotary District Conference in Shepparton against Tallangatta.

In their winning debate, they were the negative team for the topic "That private schools create divisions in society."

Well done to all of you! 

2016-08-25 Ian Murphy Memorial Debate


Our debating team have had another win. The students from the Corowa High School defeated Marion College in a debate held at the Club Savoy Myrtleford.

The topic for the night was “That The Media Worship the Wrong Heroes”.

We look forward to the next round of the competition.

Pictured: Coach Maree Falconer, Hayley Cordwell, David Strachan and John Schnelle

2016-05-26  Ian Murphy Memorial Debate

The first round of the Ian Murphy Memorial Debate for 2016-17 was contested between Corowa (afirmative) and Myrtleford (negative) and the topic was “A Foreign Language Should Be Compulsory In Schools”.

Corowa High School were the convincing winners and the head adjudicator, Anne Ovens, was very diplomatic in giving the critique of the overall competition.

Pictured: John Schnelle, David Strachan and Hayley Cordwell.

2013-11-14 Debate

Corowa High School vs Catholic College Wodonga

This week saw the 3rd Round of the Rotary - Ian Murphy Debating Competition. It saw Corowa High

School take on Catholic College Wodonga.

The Topic was “That We are Automating Ourselves out of Jobs”.


The Corowa team (sponsored by our club) was the affirmative. Catholic College (sponsored by Wodonga West Rotary Club) were the negative.

Our adjudicators were: Anne Ovens, Helen Reynoldson and Malcolm Ross.

The winners for the night were the affirmative. Well done to the Corowa High Team, who is now into the 4th round.

The team for Corowa was: 1st Speaker: Georgina Pearsall, 2nd Speaker: Patrick Schnelle, 3rd Speaker: Mary Schnelle,  Coach: Maree Falconer

The team for Wodonga was: 1st Speaker: Sam Panagopoulos, 2nd Speaker: Connor Callister, 3rd Speaker: Nikki Irvine, Coach: John Woods

Note: This CHS debating team was extremely successful and made the final to be held at the 2015 Conference. Unfortunately, due to the clash of commitments and team members being unavailable for the date, they were forced to forfeit the final. 

2013-09-12 Debating


This week saw the 2nd round of the Ian Murphy Debate Competition. Our Corowa High School team took on the team from Wodonga Catholic College at the Olive Grove Café in Wodonga.

The topic was “That Education is the Key to Success”

Our Debate team consisted of

1st Speaker:Georgina Pearsall

2nd Speaker: Patrick Schnelle

3rd Speaker: Mary Schnelle.

CHS were the negative team on the night. The debate was very close with both sides coming up with interesting arguments and rebuttals. Each speaker spoke well and it was a highly enjoyable evening, graciously hosted by Belvoir Wodonga RC.

The adjudicators praised both teams for their efforts and gave some good tips at the end of the debate to improve the debater’s techniques. In the end the awesome team from Corowa High School (under the excellent coaching of Maree “The Coach” Falconer) won the night with a unanimous decision.

Big Thanks to: Belvoir Wodonga Rotary Club for hosting the evening, Wodonga Catholic College Debaters and Supporters, the Corowa Rotarians and Parents who travelled to support our team, the adjudicators for judging

the debate (esp. Anne Ovens) and Rotarian Margaret Brown for organising our side of things.

The next round is before the end of November and the topic is “That we are Automating Ourselves out of a

Job”. Stay tuned for more details Debate enthusiasts!!

2013-06-06 Debating

Corowa HS vs Xavier HS Debate 

 What a great night listening to Corowa High School and Xavier High School debate.

The topic was: "Elite sports are in crisis".

The girls from Xavier HS did an excellent job as the team for the affirmative. They were coached Erik Hamilton, represented by Luke Parkinson and were sponsored by Albury Hume Rotary Club.

First speaker - Hayley Dixon

Second speaker - Anjil Henry

Third speaker - Jess Webb 

 With a home ground advantage, the team from Corowa High came away with a victory speaking to the negative. Coached by Maree Falconer and sponsored by Corowa Rotary Club there could have been no other result!! Well done to:

First speaker - Georgina Pearsall

Second speaker - Patrick Schnelle

Third speaker - Mary Schnelle

Special thanks to the adjudicators - Linda Martin, Malcolm Ross & Anne Ovens 


2009-11-12 Ian Murphy Memorial Debate


Corowa High School vs Cathedral College, Wangaratta

Last week’s meeting was the 3rd round of the Ian Murphy debating competition between teams from Corowa High School and Cathedral College, Wangaratta.

The topic was “Digging up Australia’s wealth is making us lazy”.

Cathedral College Wonwon the debate.

Members of the Corowa High School team: Karly Geddes, Dan Schnelle & Luke Hynes.

Members of the Cathedral College team: Jemima Jones, Amy Simpson (Coach), Lorraine Priestly & Justin Elmore

2009-08-27 Ian Murphy Memorial Debate


Corowa High School Vs St Pauls College Walla

The Topic of the Debate was “Sport is a good career choice”.

Corowa was the affirmative and St Pauls the negative. Corowa High won the debate. Well done Corowa

Corowa High School’sTeam

Karley Geddes, Dan Schnelle & Luke Hynes.

Coach: Maree Falconer.

St Paul’s Team

Dione Howard, Ian Ellis, Rowan Brunt

Coach: Terry Cardwell

2007-06-21 Ian Murphy Memorial Debate

Corowa High School vs Christ the King Anglican College, Cobram

“The building of private swimming pools should be banned.”

Corowa High School was the affirmative team on the above topic and opened a very spirited debate in a confident manner. The Cobram team was similarly well prepared and acquitted themselves very well.

In the words of the spokesperson from the adjudicating panel, Margaret Wilmott, “the debating was fantastic, the young people were great, and they were both vibrant and intelligent teams”.

Margaret went on to list some points that both teams would do well to follow:

·         Use all the time available for each speaker

·         Be careful being emotive – use facts

·         Keep referring back to the team line

·         When rebutting, keep going and referring back to the rebuttal

She commented that both teams used their notes well and that both looked at the audience well. However, as there has to be a winner, on the night it was awarded to the negative team – Christ the King Anglican College, Cobram.