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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. 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 2025 to try out for VST. 

Please fill out this form to be in the mailing list for VST Trails 2025.

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

What does it cost: Due to increased running costs, there is a fee of $5 per student to attend trials.

The DAV is committed to equity in access to our programs and have historically made provisions for further equity funding available on a case-by-case basis. The registration form allows students to submit a waiver request if the registration fee presents a barrier to participation, as well as providing an option for schools to be invoiced for participation.

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

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 be 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