Students debate International Women’s Day topic

8 March 2019

Commissioner Sharyn O’Neill with (left to right) Sophia Rees (Shenton College), Natasha Farrington (Perth College), Wini Taylor-Williams (St Mary’s Anglican Girls School) for the affirmative; and Huda Zaidi (Perth Modern School), Keeley Sermon (Perth College) and A

Commissioner Sharyn O’Neill with (left to right) Sophia Rees (Shenton College), Natasha Farrington (Perth College), Wini Taylor-Williams (St Mary’s Anglican Girls School) for the affirmative; and Huda Zaidi (Perth Modern School), Keeley Sermon (Perth College) and Aviya Solomon (Carmel College) for the negative team.

And the winner is . . . the affirmative school debating team prosecuting the topic: “We regret the social narrative that women should strive to ‘have it all’.”

A special International Women’s Day debate – hosted this morning (Friday 8 March) by the Public Sector Commission for its staff and staff of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet – saw two all-female teams pit their wits, energy and arguments to persuade the audience of their case.

“The six students from Years 9 to 12 had just one hour to prepare for the debate. They had no access to social media or the internet, and a toss of the coin determined who would be on each team,” Public Sector Commissioner Sharyn O’Neill said.

“They are incredibly talented young people and had us all enthralled by their ability to speak so confidently and to present their case.”

Adjudicators said both teams put up strong arguments, with the ‘affirmative’ team declared the winner.

The previous evening (Thursday 7 March), Ms O’Neill hosted a networking opportunity for directors general,  CEOs and commissioners at Hale House – with each asked to bring along an emerging female leader from their agency. 

Premier Mark McGowan, Women’s Interests Minister Simone McGurk and Ms O’Neill spoke on the International Women’s Day theme ‘balance for better’ and the need to cultivate a public sector with gender balance.  


Page last updated 8 March 2019