GOZONE Debating announces a new birth with our Rise and Shine Debating system and our new student handbook for beginners, “Easy Steps to Debating: A beginner’s guide to creating a simple debate.”

The excitement continues in 2020 too, with the launch of our teacher manual, intermediate and advanced student handbooks and new website with lots of great debating!

The Experiential Challenge of Debating

We’ve known for a long time that hands-on, real-life challenges like debating create the kind of excitement and engagement that helps even the most reluctant writers want to jump over their fears and blocks to have their say.

We’ve recently created new handbooks that make learning and teaching debating easier, and include more tools for helping students to learn important core skills such as research. Drawing on many years of experience, we’ve created a step-by-step approach that allows students to progress with much more ease and understanding.

Working with Uneven Skill Development

In response to requests from parents and several of our extra-curricular program schools, we have started providing an avenue for Year 4 students with gifts in communication to use the challenge of debating. Not all students are ready or interested at this stage, but what a relief it is for those who are looking for an outlet where their talents can shine.

Our most successful collaborations have been in-class programs working alongside year 5 and/or 6 class teachers and extra-curricular programs offered before or after school. Debating has often been used for gifted and talented students, but we’ve found that in a team situation and with the templates and support provided through the Rise & Shine Debating Program and materials, everyone can enjoy debating!

Debating Works with Older Students Too

We recently designed a program for a private school to assist year 7’s to transition to Senior School. This included debating as a project to develop organization, essay style structure and research skills. The program helped build social networks as new students joined continuing students. The Year 7 Debate Night became a highlight of their year.

Take the Sting out of Competition and Keep the Sparkle

Our Rise & Shine system offers Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum awards which give credit for what has been achieved according to progressive criteria. At Junior School level, the emphasis is on learning rather than winning. In this way, everyone builds more confidence and has the skills they have accomplished recognised.

A few of the schools we are currently working with include St Thomas Primary School, St Mary’s Anglican Girls School, St Hilda’s Junior School, and Presbyterian Ladies College Junior School.

After working in partnership with schools such as Loreto-Nedlands Primary School and North Perth Primary for many years, these schools have now been empowered to operate their own debating program. The parents and students look forward to debating and participating in their own In-House Debate Events with Rise & Shine Adjudicators, or in our Interschool Debate Events during terms 2, 3 and 4.

Debating helps students build the skills that create a good foundation for life! If your school is open to adding a challenge to your learning program, please give us a chance to speak to you and see if we could tailor something that meets your needs.

Lesli Grant

Owner & Coach, GOZONE Debating
e: Ph: 0403 266 374 or 9331 8951

How do you picture success?  If you could capture it in a moment, it might look like this. Three young people totally engaged, working as a team to present their debate. Relaxed, prepared and focused.

What is more difficult to see is that debating is not the focus but the process we are using to develop the skills.  At a junior school  level, winning this debate is unlikely to make much difference to these student’s lives.  That is why in GOZONE Debating we’re providing an opportunity to practice the key skills that will really matter for their future and focussing less on “winning”.

These students have learned not to compete with each other, but bring out the best in their team by being encouraging, sharing information and planning together.  They know how to prepare themselves so they can be relaxed and connect with their audience.  Using their own words and thinking, they can respond to challenges and return rebuttal.

Five ways we do this:

  • Use an award level system which rewards their level of skill.
  • Ensure they are learning to research and understand their topic and not rely on strategy alone to succeed.
  • Provide a relaxed team-learning situation.
  • Support the thinking of each student.
  • Focus on what is achieved as well as points for improvement.

We’ve been successfully providing the skills for future success for over 20 years. Now we’re opening our enrolments to the wider community.

The Mt Claremont Community Debating Class on Wednesday 4.00pm-5.00pm is open to all junior school students Year 4-6.  We begin again in Term 1 2020 on February 12.

We will create a middle school class if there is enough interest from Year 7-9 students.

Please email to express your interest to  Please include your full name, student name, and year level.  Enrolment forms are posted in the enrolment drop down menu on your right.

Enrolment forms are necessary from the first day of attendance.  Contact details are needed for safety.

Lesli Grant, Owner/Coach and Saani Bennetts, Coach, Writer/designer

0403 266 374



Hello everyone in the Perth, Western Australia area.

How will I rebutt that?

We have 4 sites starting Debating classes in Term 1.


PLC Junior School, St Hilda’s Junior School, St Mary’s Junior School and Mt Claremont Community Centre.

My contact details are or 0403 266 374.

Please feel free to indicate your interest via email or a text message. If we don’t have a class near you- let us know so we can consider that for a later term.  Better still, gather at least 6 students and we will start a class where you are.!

To formally enrol- fill in a form available from the list at the right or from your school reception.  Bring the hard copy of the form to the first session.   There are plenty of places, and you can join in the first 3 weeks of the term.

NEW Mt Claremont Community Centre- Hakea Room continues on Wednesdays 4:00-5:00pm from Feb 12, 2020.  First session FREE trial.  Please indicate your interest via text message or email above.  Enrolment forms in tab at the right.  You can fill in a form on the first day at the centre.  Enrolments accepted until Feb 26.

PLC Junior School begins on Thursday Feb 13- 3:30 in the Junior School Library.  Download a form from the enrolment forms tab on your right or collect a form from the JS Reception.

St Hilda’s Junior School begins Tuesday Feb 11 at 3:30 in the Junior School Library.  Download a form on your right. The forms are also available at JS reception.

St Mary’s Junior School students must enrol via the Junior school reception- information hub.  Contact reception or go online to parent information for details. Charges are made directly to your school accounts.


The skills you develop in a Junior School Debating class are life skills that will assist you throughout Senior School and into future workplaces.  We keep it fun and at the right level so you learn by having the experience and build on what you already know.

We look forward to meeting you in 2020.

Lesli Grant on behalf of the GOZONE Debating coaching team

As the owner of a small business I have allowed myself  to become an over-committed “one person show” even though I consulted my colleagues and relied on them a good deal.  In the last couple of years, illness in my family has meant I needed to reach out more and my colleagues have initiated many ways to assist me with GOZONE Debating.

Thanks to Saani Bennetts and Becca Martin, two colleagues in this business – the outlines and scraps of gathered wisdom about using debating in JUNIOR SCHOOL is beginning to materialise into a Handbook for Teachers and our Debaters Handbook is being re-written.  Helene Fisher, Edward Taylor and David Tehr have also contributed their thinking to re-visioning and developing what we do.

We can all see what a powerful tool the process of learning debating can be in providing renewed enthusiasm and lifelong skills to young students. There is an element of play in this process if you allow for relaxed team time, with sidetracks and banter and youthful internet exploring.  IF we allow it to be their challenge, it is both daunting and exciting to place yourself before an audience with palm cards full of your ideas, even if you are working with a team.

Rest and play time with family in the holidays has helped refresh my perspective.  As I return to work, I can see how much the support of my colleagues has contributed to my business and to my being able to have this renewal. It’s a humbling experience but I feel happy and thankful. I want to plant the seeds of great teamwork in my students and encourage everyone to create this in their life.

I attach this link on the value of play because its decline is affecting us all. GOZONE Debating continues to appreciate the importance of play in what we do and we are reminded that these principles apply to adults as well.   Lesli Grant

TheAtlantic- Why Play is important


GOZONE Debating hosts In-house Debates alongside our Grand Final Inter-school competition

We have 3 event this term:

NEW: Grand Final Inter-school competition Term 3

In response to requests from schools, GOZONE Debating has moved the Grand Final Debates to Term 3 so more schools can be involved.

Date:  Wednesday 12 September

Host: Loreto-Nedlands Primary School 69 Webster Street, Nedlands

Debates start 5:30pm. See Details of your debate for the full schedule – end of the list on the right.


Welcome back St Thomas Primary School

In-house Debate: Wednesday 19 September 2018, 6:00pm 

All the Year 5 & 6 students are involved in three rooms of debating this year.  They chose their own topics including:

  • That talent is better than hard work
  • That money can buy happiness
  • That its dangerous to use social media … name a few.


Notre Dame Debating Club

See the schedule in “Details of your debate ”

Welcome back for the second year to Notre Dame Primary

Students from Year 4, 5 and 6 are taking part in an In-house Debate on Thursday Sept 13, 5:30 pm start.

Age appropriate adjudicator Saani Bennetts will be offering feedback and making awards on the night.

Term 2 Debate Notice




MONDAY JUNE 18 2018 

5.30 START





Details of your the right side at the bottom of the menu list.  Choose term and year, scroll down to your night. Select all rooms and look for your debate. To print, unselect all except the room you want. Details up early next week. Let me know any overlaps with other things. 

Directions:   West Coast Highway is not as busy as the Freeway at this time of day.  You may need 40 minutes depending on where you are starting. I allow an hour + from S Fremantle area.

Elliott Rd is a right turn off West Coast Highway travelling North.  It is after the Scarborough beach area.  From Elliott Rd take the first left into the main entrance of St Mary’s.  Keep left past the open green area.  The double story building and surrounding classrooms host the debates. There will be room number signs. We can wait a little bit but we may have to go ahead if you’re 20 min. late!

Don’t worry, you will find us, it’s one small area of the school. 0403 266 374


When you experience injustice, many people decide they want to take action and see if they can’t start a change.  Young people across the USA are boycotting school or holding vigils in solidarity with the young people who have been killed in a Florida High School.

Closer to Australia, Adeline Tiffanie Suwana and her family were forced to evacuate their home because of flooding in Indonesia.  In response, Adeline organised 150 school friends to plant mangroves that would eventually deter damage from natural disasters in her hometown.

She is the founder of Sahabat Alam (Friends of Nature). Her organisation is training ambassadors to advocate for the environment.

GOZONE Debating trains students so they can speak up about issues that matter to them.  This year we will invite more schools and students across the Perth Metropolitan area to join us.

Help us reclaim respectful debate in 2018.  

Age appropriate debating skills for a future of negotiating what’s best for our community and world.  Sustainable decisions which benefit everyone. Its possible!

The Rise and Shine Awards@gozonedebating  recognise skills as they are developed.  We know that completing a debate deserves an award because many adults would not have the courage to do so!  To achieve this at age 10 or 11 is wonderful.

Along the way we learn research skills, teamwork, creative and logical thinking and most young people manage to have fun with it too.

Debating Flyer 2018-2

We’re expanding in 2018, please open the flier above for an invitation to your school to join us in 2018.  Before or after school groups, in class training alongside your own staff or send teams to our Inter-school competitions. It’s not one size fits all – call or email and let me tailor a program to the needs of your school.

Lesli Grant, Owner

0403 266 374

There is life after a computer meltdown. You can compose quite a lot from a small phone if that is all you have! Yes there was yelling at technology but I would caution against that as I wonder if the “electrics” generated by an emotional human can contribute to the problem.


Apologies if communication gaps made you wonder if I’d moved away.  I was just challenged by technology and having to come up with inventive ways to cobble together what is left of my files and records and find ways to convey them on the devices that still worked. It inspired a topic for debate.


GOZONE Debating is planning the Term 3 Lighthearted Debates. You can wear a hat.

I know how many students,…. well, people like dressing up. Book week brought them out in force this term. It’s fun, it opens our imaginations and poses interesting questions….how do I sit down in this ???? We are limiting this to hats this term. You may find more humour and playfulness in the arguments as well.

Some of our topics this term are more symbolic.  This is a different challenge for a debater. You have to develop your meaning of the topic more fully and find examples to support your interpretation.

Term 3 2017 topics:

Happiness is a cardboard box

That going slow is better than going fast

That every classroom should have a pet

That technology is stealing our lives

Interschool Debate Night Term 3 – Monday 18 September hosted by St Mary’s Junior School

Karrinyup at 5:30pm.  Including St Mary’s, PLC, St Hilda’s Junior School, Loreto-Nedlands Primary, Yokine Primary. See Details of your debate in the right hand list after Sept 1. Follow the prompts.

Please contact Lesli Grant if you have overlaps.  Debates start about 5:30, 6:00 and 6:30 but students are expected to attend the whole night if possible.  0403 266 374.

Term 1 is our In-house debate term.  Students need the opportunity to experiment.  Some will write their first debate.  We do our best to make it a relaxed and supported event.  No matter how we try it is often a bit of a scramble.  This year it brought out lots of good qualities in the students.

Initiative and generosity

What can you do when 1 team member from a 2 person experienced team is selected to represent their school in sport?  We celebrated her success of course ………and then how will this work for the remaining team member?  We didn’t have any “extra” people.

I invited her sister to return as a former team member but that was not possible.  I encouraged the debater to write one debate role at least and I’d get someone to sit with her.

Well, initiative and teamwork kicked in. Other students heard of her plight, she asked around and a new person keen to learn debating stepped forward and volunteered to help.  How generous is that!!

They worked on it together at school and then they delivered it that afternoon.  Our team member really stepped up- she took on Speaker 1 and 3, helped her new teammate and achieved a Stand-Out Debater award for her deeply felt debate.

A big show of courage

Public Speaking is more feared than death. Research in 1993 put it down as the most feared activity.  Several brand new Year 5 debaters delivered their first debates.

It was scary.  Was it good enough?  Can I make it to the end?

Yes, YES, and yes they did.

They were so courageous and inspiring, the audience was impressed with their first steps to speak up and state their case that          “Sport is the best subject at school”.

Of course sport isn’t the best, we have the best activity- DEBATING!

although my team would argue that Technically its not a subject at school…



Site by GOZONE | Login