A number of class based debates take place during the year, particularly as a component of the English course. Emmaus College also enters a number of teams each year in the Debaters Association of Victoria (DAV) competition.

The focus of the DAV is to make the debating competition as inclusive as possible, providing a welcoming but competitive environment for students to hone their skills and build their confidence.

Students generally prepare for their debates at school, with assistance from teaching staff, and debates typically take place on a Thursday evening at Wesley College (Glen Waverley Campus).

The DAV state that debating is an invaluable skill for students because:

  • it promotes confidence and effective public presentation
  • it encourages logical and critical thinking, social awareness and an interest in current affairs
  • it is multi-disciplinary: debating techniques can be used in all subject areas.
  • its benefits extend through all aspects of the school curriculum
  • it is well directed to the "Communication" and "Thinking" domains of VELS. More specifically, it addresses the "Speaking and Listening", "Listening, Viewing and Responding", "Presenting", "Reasoning, Process and Inquiry" dimensions of AusVELS and VCE English