On the evening of 7 October 2022, Oakleigh Grammar student Noah Peoples was presented with a prestigious ‘Swannie’ Award at the Debating Awards night held at MLC in Kew, and attended by Oakleigh Grammar staff and students. He was also named as one of five finalists for the Victorian State title.
The Swannie is awarded to the best speaker in each school year level in each region, based on the average speaker score on completion of at least three debates during the year. It is named after Alan Swanick – a long-time member of the Debaters Association of Victoria (DAV) and a pioneer of debating in Victoria. Noah won the Swannie for Best Year 11 Speaker in the Glen Waverley region, which includes schools such as Huntingtower, Caulfield Grammar, Wesley, and others – the first for Oakleigh Grammar.
Noah shares his thoughts on the win: “Debating has been a passion of mine for years as it allows me to not only express myself vocally, but also to express my ideas in a semi-professional but not too serious way. Winning this award is an honour, as being recognised as one of the top debaters in the state has boosted my confidence and made me even more comfortable with public speaking.”
During the year, Noah won all but one debate in the Interschool Competition at Wesley College on a range of political, scientific and social topics, and was judged best speaker in each of those wins.
Noah also won every debate he undertook in the Oakleigh Grammar Interhouse Debating Competition, and was judged best speaker in the grand final arguing successfully that “Australia should introduce mandatory national service.”
“We’ve worked hard to strengthen our students’ debating capabilities with the introduction of Interhouse debating and the dedicated effort of Teacher and Debating Coordinator Leigh Gridley. We are very proud of Noah’s efforts and excited about his and his peers’ potential in 2023 and beyond,” comment Oakleigh Grammar Principal Mark Robertson.