The annual Evatt Trophy debating competition, run by UN Youth Western Australia, was held at Cape Naturaliste College on Tuesday, 4th August. The Margaret River team consisted of twenty-two debaters from Years 9, 10 and 11. Some students attended this competition for the third time, many were new to this type of formal debating. Debating teams from Cape Naturaliste College, Busselton SHS and St Mary McKillop College competed alongside the Margaret River SHS students in this South-West regional qualification round. 

The students were given a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) debating workshop first before splitting up into two chambers. The teams of two were allocated a member state of the 2020 UNSC. From the perspective of their country, the students debated, amended, and finally voted on a prepared and a second, impromptu resolution. The first resolution was titled ‘The Question of Forced Disappearances’ and was finally rejected by both chambers due to the veto power of the Chinese and Russian delegations. The impromptu resolution ‘The question of Northern Ireland’ required some background information about this long-lasting Irish conflict. After some quite adventurous debating, one chamber managed to pass the resolution while the other failed again due to the use of the veto power. 

All students received a certificate of participation at the end. The participants would like to thank Sol Hanna, teacher at Cape Naturaliste College and organizer of the regional round, and the highly engaging, dedicated members of United Nations Youth Western Australia, that guided the 59 students through the tricky procedures of international diplomacy, negotiation and debating. 

Patrick Marzohl
Teacher of European Languages & Humanities and Social Science
Margaret River Senior High School