Introducing the teams


Professor David Flint AM

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Professor David Flint AM

Professor David Flint AM read law and economics at Universities of Sydney, London and Paris. After admission as a Solicitor of the NSW Supreme Court in 1962, he practised as a solicitor (1962-72) before moving into University teaching, holding several academic posts before becoming Professor of Law at Sydney University of Technology in 1989.

He is an Emeritus Professor of Law, Chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Authority, and Associate Member Australian Competition and Consumer Commission from 1997 to 2004. He is also the President, English Speaking Union and National Convenor of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy.

He was Chairman of the Australian Press Council 1987-1997. In the same years he was Dean of Law of the University of Technology Sydney. During his term significant changes to Australian legal education were made, including:

  • 12 months teaching through Summer and Winter programmes;
  • the introduction of a range of graduate programmes for non lawyers;
  • the first Australian professional doctorate, the SJD;
  • the first Australian university programmes in Alternative Dispute Resolution;
  • the inclusion of perods of study at foreign universities as part of the law programmes;
  • the incorporation of Practical-Legal training into the LL.B – “one-stop” legal education;
  • the support for the introduction of AUSTLII, which gives open internet access to Australian statute and case law.

Professor Flint is the author of numerous publications. His publications include books and articles on topics such as the media, international economic law, Australia’s constitution and on Australia’s 1999 constitutional referendum. He was recognised with the award of World Outstanding Legal Scholar, World Jurists Association, Barcelona, in October 1991. He was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1995.

Professor James Allan

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Professor James Allan

Professor James Allan is the Garrick Professor of Law, the oldest named chair at The University of Queensland. Before arriving in Australia in February of 2005 he spent 11 years teaching law in New Zealand at the University of Otago and before that lectured law in Hong Kong. Professor Allan is a native born, Canadian who practised law in a large Toronto law firm and at the Bar in London before shifting to teaching law. He has had sabbaticals at the Cornell Law School, at the Dalhousie Law School in Canada as the Bertha Wilson Visiting Professor in Human Rights, and at the University of San Diego School of Law.

Professor Allan has published widely in the areas of legal philosophy and constitutional law, including in all the top English language legal philosophy journals in the US, the UK, Canada and Australia, much the same being true of constitutional law journals as well. Professor Allan also has a sideline interest in bills of rights; he is opposed to them. Indeed, he is delighted to have moved to a country without a national bill of rights. He has been actively involved in the efforts trying to stop one from being enacted here in Australia. Professor Allan’s latest book is Democracy in Decline (published mid-2014). Professor Allan also writes widely for newspapers and weeklies, including The Australian, The Spectator Australia and Quadrant, and since arriving here in Australia he has given or participated in more than 80 lectures, debates and talks.

Hon Barnaby Joyce MP

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Hon Banaby Joyce MP
Federal Member for New England

Barnaby Joyce was born on 19th July 1967 in Tamworth, just ten days prior to the NSW Referendum for a New State of North East of NSW. He was raised as one of six children on a sheep and cattle property about sixty kilometres north-east at Danglemah.

Mr Joyce attended Woolbrook Public School, boarded at St Ignatius' College, Riverview in Sydney, and graduated from the University of New England (UNE) Armidale with a Bachelor of Financial Administration in 1989. After graduation he worked in the accounting industry and founded his own accountancy firm, Barnaby Joyce & Co. in St George, Queensland in 1999. He is a fellow of CPA Australia.

In 2004 Mr Joyce was elected to the Senate Queensland the National Party and re-elected at 2010 as a member of the merged Liberal National Party. In 2013 he moved to the House of Representatives winning the Federal electorate of New England, NSW. Mr Joyce has been the Leader of Nationals in the Senate, Leader of the National Party and Deputy Prime Minister.

Mr Joyce is strongly committed to bringing his passionate advocacy for rural and regional Australians. He has, on many occasions voiced his support for the creation of New States (

He is a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary, a former serving member of the Australian Defence Force Reserves and a long-term member of St Vincent De Paul.

Master of Ceremonies

Paul Murray

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Paul Murray
Sky News Presenter : Paul Murray Live

Paul Murray was born 14 July 1978 and is a conservative radio and TV broadcaster based in Sydney, Australia. He was the former regular Mornings presenter on 2UE show "A Sydney Morning". He also hosts Paul Murray Live on Sky News Australia which airs Sunday to Thursday at 9pm.

Paul started his radio career in the 2GB news room in 1998. He was a co-host of the popular Triple M drive show 'Paul and Rach' from 2005 to 2010.

In late 2005, Paul commence his television career, he began reporting and hosting segments for the Seven Network's morning current affairs & variety program Sunrise; later he was a regular guest on Weekend Sunrise.

Paul joined Sky News Australia in 2008 where he began hosting 180 with Paul Murray. He left radio in 2013, for a full-time position as host of Paul Murray Live.

Paul Murray has won a variety of radio awards (ACRA) including the Brian White Memorial Award (radio news reporting) and Best Documentary (Triple M's Tribute to Vic Davies). He has also been nominated several times for best comedy segment and in 2012 was nominated for best talk presenter.


Gene Tunny

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Gene Tunny
Director of Adept Economics

Gene Tunny is the Director of Adept Economics, a Brisbane-based economic consulting firm. He is a former Australian Treasury official who has managed teams in Treasury’s Industry and Budget Policy divisions. Gene has internationally recognised expertise in economic policy analysis and advice. For instance, Gene has led or participated as an expert presenter in three University of Queensland International Development courses delivered to Indonesian Government officials, funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the World Bank. Gene is a regular economics commentator in Australian and international media. In late 2018, his book Beautiful One Day, Broke the Next: Queensland’s Public Finances Since Sir Joh and Sir Leo was published by Connor Court. Gene has a first class honours degree in Economics from the University of Queensland, where he was a University Medallist.

Steven Wardill

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Mr Steven Wardill
State Affairs Editor for The Courier Mail/Sunday Mail

Opposed to the formation of a separate North Queensland writing numerous articles declaring Brisbane provide for the best interests of our regions and ‘the regions should stop moaning about unfair allocations’.


Register your interest

General Debate Format

Note: That while the debate is to be informative and present fact based opinion it also has a license to be entertaining.

Debate opens with the affirmative team (the team that supports the resolution) presenting their arguments, followed by a member of the opposing team. This pattern is repeated for the second speaker in each team. Finally, each team gets an opportunity for rebutting the arguments of the opponent. Speakers should speak slowly and clearly. The judges and members of the audience should be taking notes as the debate proceeds.

Sequence for debate, is as follows:

  • The first speaker on the affirmative team presents arguments in support of the resolution. (5–10 minutes)
  • The first speaker on the opposing team presents arguments opposing the resolution. (5–10 minutes)
  • The second speaker on the affirmative team presents further arguments in support of the resolution, identifies areas of conflict, and answers questions that may have been raised by the opposition speaker. (5–10 minutes)
  • The second speaker on the opposing team presents further arguments against the resolution, identifies further areas of conflict, and answers questions that may have been raised by the previous affirmative speaker. (5–10 minutes)
  • The rules may include a short recess for teams to prepare their rebuttals. (5 minutes)
  • The opposing team begins with the rebuttal, attempting to defend the opposing arguments and to defeat the supporting arguments without adding any new information. (3–5 minutes)
  • First rebuttal of the affirmative team (3 – 5 minutes)
  • Each team gets a second rebuttal for closing statements with the affirmative team having the last opportunity to speak. (3–5 minutes each)
  • There cannot be any interruptions. Speakers must wait their turns.

The moderator shall enforce the rules.

Post Debate Q&A

Members of the audience shall be given an opportunity to ask questions of debaters and to contribute their own thoughts and opinions on the arguments presented.

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