2021 Debating Competition

Debating this year experienced many ups and downs for all seven MSJ teams, ranging from wins, losses, lockdowns and zoom rounds. Both C Grade teams completed Secret Topics this season for the first time, and through learning the ins and outs of preparing for a topic, we only are informed one hour before starting time. We have gained many useful skills as we competed against schools such as Suzanne Cory, Braybrook College, Westbourne, MacKillop, and Islamic College of Melbourne. Both teams put in many hours and lots of effort resulting in an outstanding job.

The last round that we participated in was a secret topic over zoom. Although this posed many challenges and we ultimately lost, everyone who participated did an incredible job. Our MSJ 1 team performed exceptionally well over the season finishing second on the ladder, and our MSJ 2 team did amazing finishing fifth. However, our D Grade Team 2 have made it to the play-offs, so we all wish them the very best of luck.

On behalf of both C Grade teams, we would like to thank Mr Piazza for supporting us, putting in countless hours and sharing his skills and knowledge with us. Another big thank you to Ms Skahill who is the backbone of debating at MSJ. Without her, none of this would have been possible.

Zara Curtis, Year 10

Year 9 VISION project

Last term, like all Year 9 students, I was assigned a project to help make a difference in our community. We had to identify an issue in society and find a solution. Mine was the impacts of habitat loss on our native fauna to which I provided education and alternatives that used native flora to provide food and shelter.

My VISION for my project was to promote ‘habitat gardening’ to ensure our homes that took away our wildlife’s habitats became one again. Then, to put my research to the test, I explored nearby environments, listed common native plants and bought them a native Nursery. It was exciting to finally have completed the research and move to hands-on work.

Over the next weeks, I propagated the plant ‘pigface’ for the expo and grew an ideal habitat diorama. Very soon, native honey eaters came to the plants and I witnessed how positive small pockets of native flora can be. I set up my Facebook page with pictures of thriving natives, small gardening ideas and videos explaining habitat gardening. Finally, the expo. My egg-carton pigface hung on the pinboard behind me, the handouts were quickly disappearing, my research (on a Facebook page) was available to view on my laptop and my diorama sat in the middle of the table.

The experience was eye opening and I cannot look at a garden now without searching for native flora. The VISION project changed my perspective not only on gardening but it also proved that I could make a positive difference.

Lorna Denny, 9A

Sports on the spectrum

Christina and I worked together for our Year 9 program and created an event together called ‘Sports on the Spectrum’. Our program was to encourage children on the Spectrum to join in physical activities, in a setting where they won’t be judged by anyone. The program was going to help them by building up their confidence, social skills and teamwork, all of the skills which we use every day, but these children lack, and find hard to use. Christina and I are planning for our program to go ahead in the future, and for kids who are on the Spectrum to come to the program and have some fun, whilst doing physical activity and socialising.

Alisha Vella and Christina Pantelidis, 9D

For our Vision projects, I decided to focus on accessible health and mental health services in regional and remote Australia. Through this, I created a website to highlight the issue and create ways to improve it. Often, we think that healthcare in Australia is advanced and accessible to all but as part of my project, I researched the issue and found out many shocking facts including that: on average, rural and remote Australians see doctors at half the rate, medical specialists and dentists at one third the rate, and mental health practitioners at one fifth the rate of those who live in cities. I also made contact with services such as the Royal Flying Doctor Service to see how we can help.

Overall, I enjoyed this project, developed many new skills and encourage everyone to do a little research into the topic.

Bridget Lloyd 9D


    You are now able to apply for university and TAFE courses across Australia. For most courses, you apply via state-based Tertiary Admission Centres. Below is the weblink for VTAC Victoria Tertiary Admissions Centre


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