Debate the Future of America 2012

Penrith Selective High School triumphs in Obama debate

Penrith Selective high School's 2012 Debate the Future of America Team

Left to right: From Penrith Selective High School: Ross Penninkilampi, Natalie Buckett, and Grace White.

Penrith Selective High School has emerged triumphant after tackling the big issues in American politics in the United States Studies Centre’s ‘Debate the Future of America’ competition as part of the University’s Open Day in August.

In a reversal of the result of last year’s final, a full house watched the sharp and consistent trio from Penrith narrowly defeat their fellow finalists from North Sydney Girls High School on the topic: “Barack Obama deserves a second term in office”. For their efforts, the students won three iPads for their school.

“It is great to see such a strong rivalry building between these two teams, and even though the competition is only in its second year, both teams had to overcome some very tough competition to make it to the final,” said Centre lecturer and head adjudicator David Smith.

The final followed a tough qualifying competition, tackling issues like the need for the US to enact stricter campaign finance laws and whether America should introduce compulsory voting.

US Studies Centre elections analyst Luke Freedman, who judged the final debate, said “it’s great to see that Sydney high schools are not only focused on HSC marks but are also producing great speakers and future leaders with a real understanding of Australian and US politics.”

The final debate saw students from both teams question whether Obama had disappointed America, delivered on his election promises, and been too politically pragmatic, with Penrith emerging victorious on the strength of their rebuttal and the performance of third speaker Natalie Buckett.

Congratulations to all the schools who took part in the competition and check back for details of the 2013 contest, which promises to be another informative and competitive affair.  

The finalists in the US Studies Centre Debate the Future of America 2012 competition

Left to right: From North Sydney Girls High: Jananee Myooran, Jemma Cavanagh, and Rebecca Tay.
From Penrith Selective High School: Grace White, Natalie Buckett, and Ross Penninkilampi.

Back to top

VIDEOS & INTERVIEWS

Zoellick

Robert Zoellick on the TPP and Greece

Former president of the World Bank Robert Zoellick, who was in Australia to speak at Centre conference on US–Australia trade, discusses the future of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the US–Australia Free Trade Agreement, and the current economic turmoil in Greece.


Stoler

Progress of the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Former deputy director-general of the World Trade Organization Andrew Stoler, who will be speaking at the Centre's conference on the Australia–US trade relationship, looks back at the benefits of the 2005 free trade deal between the two nations and forward to the potential Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Follow us on Twitter Become a Facebook fan Watch us on YouTube See us on Flickr Watch us on Vimeo RSS