Home' Aurora : Aurora October 2013 Contents It could almost be described as a David
and Goliath story, except David only had
to defeat the one "giant". Year 10 students
from San Clemente High School, Mayfield,
form one of only 16 teams remaining in
the 2013 NSW Law Society Mock Trial
Competition. From an initial pool of 195
schools, the talented and enthusiastic
team has established itself as the top
Hunter contender --- at the expense of
quite a few "Goliaths".
On its march to the final elimination round,
San Clemente has defeated the likes of
Hunter Valley Grammar School, Bishop
Tyrrell Anglican College, Macquarie
College and, most recently, the selective
Merewether High School. Remarkably,
most of these opposing teams comprise
Year 11 students of Legal Studies, a
subject the younger San Clemente group
has never experienced. According to
volunteer coach and Newcastle barrister,
Brian Kelly, this has not been a problem.
"The team seems to understand concepts
that some of my university students have
trouble grasping. Rather than simply
going through the motions and asking
pre-prepared questions, they really listen
to evidence and are able to think on their
feet," said Brian. This novel approach to
problem solving even includes a game
the students have created as a form of
training. Each Monday, team members
will take turns describing three things they
did on the weekend, with one item being
a 'lie'. Their teammates then use cross-
examination techniques to catch them out.
Mock Trial can often be a gruelling, time-
consuming exercise and the students have
shown great dedication to progress this far in
the competition, spending many hours after
school and on weekends in preparation. The
eight team members take on various roles
for each trial, including barristers, supporting
solicitors, witnesses and "specialist Court
Officer extraordinaire", Louis.
Since Mock Trial is both academic and
competitive in nature, the students are
role models whom the whole school
can get behind. English Co-ordinator
Karen Brennan, who helps organise San
Clemente's participation in the competition,
said the school is very excited by the team's
achievements. "The students are really
raising the academic bar," she said.
With only three mock trials remaining
before the grand final, San Clemente faces
Coonabarabran High School in early Term
4 in a match that will hopefully see them
make the 'final 8'.
We congratulate the San Clemente Mock
Trial team members and wish them the
best of luck in their next round!
for San Clemente
BY LIAM BECKETT
(back, l-r) Brian Kelly (coach), Louis Matheson (Court Officer), Sebastian Brandt (Witness),
Tegan Turnbull (Witness)
(front, l-r) Paul Kelly (Witness/Barrister), Lauren Townsend (Solicitor), Holly Jamadar
(Barrister), Jessica Anderson (Witness), Kate Slowey (Barrister); (absent) Olivia Lauder
(Solicitor). Photo courtesy of Liam Beckett.
www.mn.catholic.org.au Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle
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