Students at St Joseph’s have the opportunity to represent the College in a number of debating competitions each year. They are coached and supported by experienced staff and Old Boys who share their knowledge and passion for debating and help the boys develop as individual speakers and as teams.

Successful debating requires a detailed knowledge of current affairs, and the ability to form logical arguments on highly complex and often controversial issues facing society.

Debating encourages students to develop persistence, confidence, logic, teamwork and strong oratory skills that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.

The capacity to think quickly, remain calm and communicate articulately are key to successful debating and these skills are nurtured at St Joseph’s.

Annual debating competitions for students in Years 7 to 12 include ISDA, GPS and FED Cup. Students are also given the opportunity to participate in in-school debates and the First team contests the Old Boys’ Debate against a team of SJC alumni.

A central tenet of a Marist education is the development of the capacity to articulate ideas and convey them to an audience in a convincing and compelling way. It is also becoming increasingly important to find a voice to counter populist views of intolerance and prejudice contrary to the message of a Christian school like St Joseph’s.

Oratory is thus a major means of encouraging reflection, reason and compassion.

Students from Years 7 to 12 are encouraged to participate in oratory and are coached and supported by experienced staff and Old Boys of the College. Boys are given the opportunity to takes part in a number of oratory competitions each year where they perform at an extremely high level. In 2013, the senior division of the CSDA competition was won by a Year 11 student from St Joseph’s and the College also was named the overall winner of the Marist Oratory Competition. Other opportunities for oratory include the Lawrence Campbell Competition and a number of internal challenges.

Performing Arts at Joeys is vibrant and innovative, adding great richness and energy to the College community. The College runs a number of performing arts co-curricular options including  a bi-annual musical theartre performance, musical ensembles and bands.

Guided by both the College music and drama departments, the College is committed to not only engaging the boys in a range of experiences and developing their talents, but also instilling in them a life-long appreciation for the arts and providing them with a balanced, well-rounded education. 

There are many opportunities for boys to showcase their talents throughout the school year. The College Musical is performed at the Concourse Theatre Chatswood in a 600-seat space. This year Pippin will be featured. Previous shows have included: Shout! The Legend of the Wild One; Hairspray, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Wedding Singer and Strictly Ballroom.

And the Performing Arts Tour initiative enables boys to experience workshop classes hosted by drama experts in New Zealand, New York, Los Angeles, London, Stratford-upon-Avon, Paris and Fontainebleau.