Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of International Studies, University of Wollongong

Paul cam across debating later in his education than most people. A law student at the University of Wollongong, he joined his university's debating society in his second year, and hasn't looked back. He has debated at more competitions than he can count - including the Australian Debating Championships - and has spent many hours of his life adjudicating as well (including as part of the NSW Government Arts Unit).

Whilst Paul is an incredibly keen debater, he is just as passionate about education. He has been the Vice-President for Schools Engagement with the Wollongong Debating Society since 2016, and has used his position to spread debating skills to as many local students as possible. This has led him to judge a number of competitions - including the finals of the Premier's Debating Challenge and the Sutherland Shire Public Speaking and Debating Competition Grand Finals. He is also an experienced swim coach, Senior Patrol Leader with his local Russian Scouts group, and a volunteer with the Redfern Legal Centre. He is always keen for any opportunity to give back to the community.

What is one tip you wish someone had told you about public speaking or debating?

Start as early as you can - my only real regret when it comes to debating is that I didn't do it sooner.

What is your favourite thing about public speaking and debating?

Can't really be pinned down - it has you become a more confident orator, helps you think critically and think quickly, as well as gives you the potential to meet people who will, sometimes surprisingly, become some of your closest friends.