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Welcome to the DAV Website
The DAV is a non-profit association which exists to promote debate. It is the peak debating body in Victoria and runs large competitions for adults and for schools across Victoria. It provides training and resources for debaters, teachers and adjudicators.

Schools Competition
(Yr 9-12 Debating)

Participating in the Victorian State Debating Team (VST) is a chance for you to represent Victoria at the National Championships - and even Australia in the World Championships! Students who are selected for the team get to participate at the National Schools Debating Championships. 

Participating in the Victorian Schools Team involves an initial squad phase where 12 students train every Sunday for three weeks. After this, a team of seven students trains for roughly ten additional weeks prior to the week-long National Schools Debating Championships to be held in Canberra in May 2021. The training schedule is time intensive but for passionate debaters, this is an excellent opportunity to gain experience, advice and coaching from highly accomplished coaches and debaters.

We welcome any interested secondary school students from year 9-12 in 2022 to try out for VST. 

Registration for VST trials for 2022 is now open. Registration closes Wednesday 24th November or when we reach capacity.

Register here.

All trials will run online. We will be running two options for Stage 1 trials. Students will only be required to attend one of them. Details below:

2021 VST Trials Stage 1 - Day 1
Date: Sunday 28 November 2021
Venue: Online via Zoom
Time: 9.30 am - 5pm

2021 VST Trials Stage 1 - Day 2
Date: Sunday 12 December 2021
Venue: Online via Zoom
Time: 9.30 am - 5pm

A small number of students will be asked to attend the call-back round which will take place on Sunday in early February 2022.

What do I need to prepare: Plenty of paper/palm cards and pens to prepare for debates, and a friendly and collaborative attitude.

What to wear: Casual clothes - whatever you feel comfortable in!

Can I bring family/teachers: Family and teachers are welcome to spectate in Zoom meetings but they must have their cameras and microphone off for the duration of debates.

What will I have to do: On the day, you will be randomly assigned to a team and given a speaker position (we take into account your speaker preferences where possible, but you must be prepared to speak in any role!). You will then be asked to participate in two secret topic debates, viewed by our selectors. As the final VST team is comprised of a group of students who may not have met before, we really want to see if you can work in a team with anyone, not just your debating friends!  The day can be pretty hectic and runs on a tight schedule, so please log in on time, be patient with DAV staff and selectors, and read/listen carefully to all instructions.

What are selectors looking for: Our selectors will be paying close attention to your debating technique (of course!), but they will also take into account your overall attitude, your willingness to support your team members and your potential for growth through further training. The resources below may assist you in preparing for trials. There are not compulsory reading, but if you have time to get through them they are certainly worth a look!

Debate Commentary

Debate Training Commentary

Introduction to Preparation

Introduction to Case Construction