St Mary’s strives to empower our students with the confidence to speak their mind by providing varied and rich debating and public speaking opportunities.
St Mary’s participates in several external debating competitions that allow students to learn different styles of debating and hone their critical thinking and teamwork skills. These include:
- The Western Australian Debating League (WADL)
- The Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA) Debating Competition
- British Parliamentary (BP) Debating Competition
To ensure that our students are fully supported in their endeavours, they are coached by staff, and Old Girls who debated during their time at St Mary’s, which allows current and past students to form strong relationships.
St Mary’s also facilitates fun interhouse and teacher versus student debates, which encourage all students to participate in debating in a relaxed and friendly environment.
St Mary’s has a proud tradition of contesting The Law Society of Western Australia’s annual Mock Trial Competition. In fact, St Mary’s won the prestigious competition in 2021.
The Mock Trial Competition allows Years 10 to 12 students who are interested in the law to see it in action. Provided with mock scenarios, students assume different roles and present their legal arguments before a real judge in a real court.
With the help of a specialist coach and supporting teachers, our teams create their case theory to prepare a ‘real’ legal case. Students can take on the role of a barrister, solicitor, witness, judges’ associate and court orderly.
Our students receive coaching every week and participate in extra team meetings to prepare and practise roles ahead of trials, which are held at the Supreme Court. The competition is part of the Endorsed Units program for WACE.
St Mary’s recently joined forces with our brother school, Hale School, to create the St Mary’s Hale Public Speaking Competition. The competition aims to bring like-minded students together, promote interest in contemporary ideas and refine students’ public speaking skills.
The competition has two divisions: Junior (Years 7 to 9) and Senior (Years 10 to 12). Similar to debating, our students are coached by past students, teachers, and sometimes professional public speakers.
St Mary’s wins 2021 WA Law Society Mock Trials Competition
An inspired group Year 12 students helped St Mary’s break a 29-year drought by winning the 2021 WA Law Society Mock Trials competition on 18 October.
Appearing before The Hon Chief Justice Peter Quinlan in Courtroom 1 at the Supreme Court of Western Australia, the girls won their Grand Final case against a talented team from Christ Church Grammar School.
The girls successfully prosecuted an assault charge that featured some very colourful witness accounts of an Australia Day altercation between a mother and her son.
Our two magnificent barristers, Alice and Annabel, were ably instructed by their solicitor, Gabrielle. Abbi and Aarya did a fantastic job as our compelling witnesses, while Neve was our impeccable court orderly.
The girls, who have been undefeated over the past two years, put many hours into preparing for each of the seven rounds of trials and they are to be congratulated on their outstanding performance in this competition, which saw them place first out of 112 teams.
Learn about our enrolment process
St Mary’s is all about girls discovering their best. We want our students to be engrossed in the exploration of ideas, to be self-motivated and self-directed, to delight in trying something new and to contribute positively to the community.