Debate the Future of America 2013
Hurlstone Agricultural High School wins in a close debate on US race relations
Have race relations in the US improved during the Obama presidency or deteriorated? This vexing question was tackled by some of Sydney’s top high school debaters at the final of the Centre's 2013 Debate the Future of America competition.
The debate was won by Hurlstone Agricultural School, which narrowly beat Pymble Ladies College in a split decision. Lecturer David Smith, speaking for fellow adjudicators Malcolm Jorgenson and Aaron Nyerges, commended both sides on their high level of preparation, well structured speeches, and for presenting the strongest arguments he had seen in the competition to date.
The final was the culmination of three hard-fought elimination rounds, in which ten teams from across Sydney debated whether the US should adopt Australian-style gun laws and whether the US needs an austerity program.
The winners from Hurlstone were awarded three 16GB iPads for their schools while Phoebe Lind from Pymble and Alicia Lam from Hurlstone received special commendations on their performances. Congratulations to everyone who participated in the competition.
VIDEOS & INTERVIEWS
High profile US politicians are already blaming Russian separatists for the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine. Research associate Tom Switzer says the Obama administration has rightly been cautious in its response at this early stage.
Centre guest Kathleen Burk, the professor emerita of modern and contemporary history at University College London, discusses the shared history of the United States and the United Kingdom, beginning by considering whether the relationship should be considered a special one.