Hero photograph
Prize Winners
Photo by Ms A. Togneri


Miss M McCane —

The Columba debating club has had yet another successful year, with four junior teams and three senior teams in the local “Dunedin Schools Debating” (DSD) tournament.

The most important event of the debating year came in early March, with the Otago-Southland Regional Tournament. Columba was extremely well represented, with four teams of three comprising our top senior debaters, as well as two Year 10 students who stepped up to the challenge as part of a ‘swing’ team.

We had three teams make the top four and proceed to the semi-finals: Columba 1 (Khaleeda Jaafar, Abby Bowmar, Isobel Fraser), Columba 2 (Georgia Francis, Lara Seaton, Jody Syme) and Columba 3 (Madeline McCane, Angela Fu, Millie George). Of these three teams, Columba 1 proceeded to the finals to face Otago Boys’ High School, and while they unfortunately lost, Columba had considerable success in the prize giving for the tournament. Penelope Hare, Lara Seaton, and Jody Syme were named in the Year 11 and 12 development squad, Khaleeda Jaafar and Madeline McCane were named as reserves for the Otago-Southland regional team, and Isobel Fraser and Abby Bowmar were named on the Otago-Southland regional team.

There were two other exciting inter-school tournaments throughout the year. At Quad, Abby Bowmar, Isobel Fraser and Penelope Hare had a clean sweep of wins against Craighead Diocesan School, St Hilda’s Collegiate School and St Margaret’s College to claim first. At STAC, Madeline McCane, Khaleeda Jaafar and Georgia Francis won both their debates against John McGlashan College and St Andrew’s College to come first as well.

Finally, Columba had huge success at DSD at both a senior and junior level. At senior,

Columba 1 and Columba 2 both made the semi-final, where Columba 1 advanced to the final against Otago Boys’, this time defeating them to claim the win for the third year in a row. However, Columba is incredibly lucky to have an extremely strong junior debating cohort as well. Columba 1 (Charlotte Werner, Sophie Bowmar, Annabelle Kelly) and Columba 3 (Anise Maclean, Sophie Boyle, Melissa Van der Haegen) both advanced to the semi-final, where Columba 1 faced off against Otago Girls’ High School in the final to claim the win. The Columba Debating Club is built on the foundations of supporting others and we are incredibly privileged to have such a large group of students who consistently work hard to improve not just themselves but the students around them as well.

Madeline McCane