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Debating Success for William Price-Cunliffe

Over the Easter break William Price-Cunliffe (Fr 2021) competed in the Australian Intervarsity Debating Championships (‘Easters’) hosted at Monash University in Melbourne. Will was ranked as a top 5 speaker in Australia and the best speaker from the University of Sydney for the second year running, and his team (USU 2) made the octofinals.

He’s currently studying a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Science (Chemistry) at the University of Sydney, and grew up in Auckland, New Zealand, making the move to Sydney last year.

What attracts you to debating?

I’m actually not a very argumentative person, but debating has uniquely enabled me to approach all other aspects of my life and studies with more confidence, strategic framing and analytical rigour. It’s sort of empowering to know I could give an eight minute speech off the cuff on any topic thrown at me, and only through debating have I been able to access that skill.

Did you have experience in debating prior to coming to St Andrew’s?

Yes, I was the captain of the NZ Schools debating team in 2019, and competed at the World Schools Debating Championships in Croatia (2018) and Thailand (2019). I also have experience coaching debating students from across Australia, NZ and Asia.

Do you have the opportunity to hone your debating skills at St Andrew’s?

St Andrew’s has provided great opportunities to hone my skills. We were victorious in the Palladian Cup debating competition last year, through which I had the opportunity to debate with and against some of the best University of Sydney debaters. I’m looking forward to selecting and training with our team for this year – hopefully we can repeat our run!

What other activities do you take part in at St Andrew’s?

I am involved in a number of cultural activities at St Andrew’s, including the jazz band and the choirs. I am also a Pastoral Care Leader, and enjoyed playing social basketball last year.

Do you have any advice for anyone thinking about applying to St Andrew’s?

Stay true to who you are, both in your application and while at College. It’s easy to feel lost amongst a group of such exceptionally talented people, but everyone will ultimately respect you more if you are confident in your own niches than if you try to fit in with the crowd too much.