Greenwood College caps underdog story with victory in WA Debating League

Greenwood College debating team members Cyrine Almodovar, Ann Cao, Asmaa Hameed, Konrad Dumpleton and Jacque Walters (year 8).
Greenwood College debating team members Cyrine Almodovar, Ann Cao, Asmaa Hameed, Konrad Dumpleton and Jacque Walters (year 8).

IN a scenario akin to a Hollywood film, Greenwood College students have won the WA Debating League’s novice grand final.

Year 8 students Jacque Walters, Asmaa Hameed, Cyrine Almodovar, Konrad Dumpleton and Ann Cao stormed undefeated into Tuesday night’s final against Perth Modern School.

The group had not debated before this year and three of the five members come from non-English speaking homes.

Iraqi-born Asmaa won best speaker at the debate despite learning English less than three years ago.

“I’m really excited and exhausted,” she said.

“It was really good having so many people come and see us.”

She said she started debating to work on her public speaking and English skills and felt proud to win the award, as were her parents.

“They’re really proud and excited and awestruck,” she said.

“We didn’t expect to win every debate, we expected to win some and lose some.”

The team formed late last year and was among more than 160 competing from schools including Presbyterian Ladies College, Christ Church Grammar School, St Hilda’s Anglican School for Girls and Scotch College.

Teacher Ela Amor-Robertson said they were pinching themselves after the win.

“We were really thrilled with the performance on the night,” she said.

“They had been doing a lot of rehearsals but none of the rehearsals really came close to being as great as they were on the night.

“They really thrived under pressure.”

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