Students vs academics

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Having succumbed to the Academics team last year, the students are out for revenge in this year's Godfrey Tanner Great Debate on Tuesday 24 March.

Godfrey  Tanner

The University of Newcastle comedy-style debate pits a team of four students against a team of four academics in an ultimate battle of wits.

It's expected to be a fun filled evening, hosted by University legend Dr Bernie Curran and adjudicated by well-known broadcaster Carol Duncan.

Bravely taking on the students is Professor Trevor Waring, Christina Koutsoukas, Paul Scott and John Dugas. Lining up for the Students team again and keen take home the winners' cup is engineering student Elyse Hudson. She's joined by Vivak Ravindran and the Bond brothers - Austin and Conrad.

The topic sure to spark heated debate this year is: 'To ensure Australia remains globally competitive in an international economy, universities should be able to set their own fees in a deregulated market.'

The debate is in honour of the well-known University of Newcastle Classics lecturer and eccentric and champion of students - the late Emeritus Professor Godfrey Tanner.

The debate is also a fundraiser for the Godfrey Tanner Memorial Scholarship, which funds an annual $3,000 scholarship to assist students who are starting their university studies and are facing hardship.

Close personal friend of Godfrey Tanner, Dr Bernie Curran said Godfrey devoted the greater part of his life to the University of Newcastle supporting students.

"Godfrey was incredibly generous to students who had suffered setbacks and challenges. Even though he was a Classics professor, he was explicit in his instruction that the scholarship named after him should be open to students from any discipline.

"No doubt the spirit of the late Godfrey Tanner will be looking down and watching this debate with great satisfaction, as he loved debating. I suspect however, he will be barracking for the students to take out the gold cup this year," Dr Curran said.

The debate will take place at 6pm on Tuesday 24 March in the Godfrey Tanner Bar on Callaghan campus. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Anyone interested in making a donation to the Godfrey Tanner Memorial Scholarship Fund can call 02 4921 7453 or visit

Event details: 6pm, Tuesday 24 March, Godfrey Tanner Bar, Shortland Union building, Callaghan campus, University Drive.

  • Tanya Carlyle, Communications and Marketing Coordinator, UON Foundation and Development Office.
  • Phone: 0407 276 061.

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