STUDENTS from all corners of the globe headed to the bayside last weekend for one of the world’s biggest and most prestigious debating and public speaking competitions.
For the second year in a row the World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championships (WIDPSC) were hosted by Moreton Bay Boys’ College.
An Australian team, including two Moreton Bay Boys’ College students and three girls from Moreton Bay College, took on students from as far away as Lithuania, Canada and Israel during the four day event.
Head of Moreton Bay Boys’ College, Tony Wood, said the students had prepared for the big event for the last six months.
“At MBBC we take pride in nurturing a broad spectrum of talents and it was great to see our own students compete against the best in the world in an arena that they excel in,” Mr Wood said.
“Public speaking is becoming a lost art form however MBBC is reviving it by taking part in events such as this and also through a public speaking program that commences in prep.
“We are so proud of the boys and girls from both our colleges, and the Australian team as a whole.”
The students competed in five categories including interpretive reading, impromptu speaking, debate, persuasive speaking and after dinner speaking.
The event culminated with a grand final where the finalists from each category battled it out for the top honour.
Canadian Ryan Pistorius was named the overall winner of the championship and also placed second in the interpretive reading category.
The event was particularly special for South African, Natasha Dusabe, who celebrated her eighteenth birthday with a win in the persuasive speaking category.
Natasha spoke about the importance of educating the third world and suggested that an international group of volunteers be established called ‘teachers without borders’ enabling all children the right to free education. International competitors also got a chance to take in the sights of Brisbane with a jam-packed itinerary that included sailing on Moreton Bay, a visit to Dreamworld, dinner at the iconic Yatala Pies, bowling and a morning exploration of South Bank Parklands.
“For many of our competitors this was their first trip to Australia and it was important that they got a chance to experience our culture,” Mr Wood said.
“The students stayed with host families so that they could experience every facet of the Australian lifestyle.”
Mr Wood said that hosting the event for the second year was a huge honour for Moreton Bay Boys' College.
“As an International Baccalaureate school we are committed to fostering our young men to become successful global citizens,” he said.
“This was a great opportunity for us to learn from each other and cement our global connections."
The 2012 World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championship winners:
Overall – Ryan Pistorius, Canada.
Impromptu speaking – Priaynka Sekhar, USA.
Persuasive speaking – Natasha Dusabe, South Africa. After dinner speaking – Neil Kemester, Australia.
Debate – Connor Campbell, Canada.
Interpretive reading – Lucien Wang, Hong Kong.