About

What is it?

The Australian Debating Federation (ADF) is the peak body for schools debating in Australia. We oversee the provision of debating competitions for Australian school students from across the country.

Our structure consists of two levels: affiliates and an executive committee.

We have eight affiliates: one from each State and Territory. These affiliates administer the premier debating competitions in their respective States and Territories, with the exception of New South Wales where a number of disparate competitions run in tandem. All affiliates are further responsible for the selection and training of State representative teams to compete at the National Championships.

Nearly 30,000 students across the country debate in our competitions. These students come from government and non-government schools. Our competitors have a roughly equal gender split.

The Executive Committee is responsible for the day to day administration of the ADF and development of debating on a national level. The Executive Committee also oversees the administration of the National Schools Debating Championships.

Who are the affiliates?

Each State and Territory has one affiliate organization. These are the only organizations that the ADF endorses. They are as follows:

Australian Capital Territory Australian Capital Territory Debating Union (ACTDU)
New South Wales New South Wales Debating Union (NSWDU)
Northern Territory Northern Territory Debating Union (NTDU)
Queensland Queensland Debating Union (QDU)
South Australia South Australian Debating Association (SADA)
Tasmania Tasmanian Debating Union (TDU)
Victoria Debaters Association of Victoria (DAV)
Western Australia Western Australian Debating League (WADL)

All except NSWDU administer local debating competitions.

These debating competitions are the only forum in which students from government and non-government schools compete on equal terms. Roughly equal numbers of government and non-government teams compete with an even mix of gender participation.

State Education Departments have recognized the importance of these associations with DAV and QDU singled out as model community organizations.