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ACT students to attend the DIMIA national school debating finals.

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ACT Students to Attend the DIMIA National School Debating Finals

MPS 34A/2003 19 May 2003

The Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, Philip Ruddock, today congratulated Canberra students on being selected to represent the Australian Capital Territory at the National School Debating Finals.

The students include James Robertson, 16, Simone Gubler, 17, and James Rumsey-Merlan, 16, from Narrabundah College, Julia Fetherston, 16, from Canberra Girls' Grammar, Emily Bek, 17, from Hawker College, and Duncan Kauffman, 16, from Radford College.

Mr Ruddock said it was important for Australian youth to develop an informed and balanced opinion of Australia's immigration and multicultural policies.

'As the decision makers of the future, it is important that students explore topics which so often dominate debate not only in parliament, but in the media and society generally,' Mr Ruddock said.

The finals, in Brisbane from 18-25 May, will be sponsored by the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA), and aim to encourage secondary students to focus on immigration and multicultural affairs issues.

The students have been debating for between three and six years. Over the last six months they have been coached intensively by representatives of the ACT Debating Union.

The students said they were looking forward to meeting other debaters from around Australia.

'Debating is about learning to understand that there are no absolute rights or wrongs. It serves as a reminder that there are no easy solutions to complex problems. And it's a lot of fun,' Julia Fetherston said.

Duncan Kauffman said debating encouraged young people to be informed about what was happening in the world around them.

He said it also provided a forum for discussion about those issues.

'I am looking forward to meeting interesting people from around Australia,' Duncan said.


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