Victorian Secondary Schools Philosothon, 2018

Link to Voting Form: Students Click to Vote Here!


Photo by Michelle Rocca.
Location: Ballarat Grammar City Cite, Level 12, 474 Flinders Street, Melbourne, 3000
Enter from Highlander Lane.
Date: Thursday 30th August 2018
Pre-event Briefing: Saturday 11th August 2018

Join in the 10th Victorian Secondary Schools Philosothon.

UPDATE: Registrations for 2018 are now closed.

To register your school to participate, please complete this Registration Form and pay the deposit. Submit the form to Tristan Hill (Schools Coordinator)

To register your interest as a Judge or Facilitator, please complete this Application Form and submit it to Bonnie Zuidland (Judges and Facilitators Coordinator)

There will be four rounds of twelve “Community of Inquiry” sessions. Each session runs for 30 minutes. All students will participate in each round and each round will be based on separate topics. Students will remain in Year level groups for the first two sessions. They will be placed in mixed groups for the final two sessions. There will be a break for refreshments between the second and third sessions.

A trophy will be awarded to the winning school at the end of the evening, and medallions awarded in various categories.  

Rob Wilson will present the La Trobe University Award for A Most Promising Philosopher
Harry Galatis will present the University of Melbourne Award for Excellent Facilitation.
  • Be prepared for a thoughtful discussion rather than a debate
  • One person speaks at a time
  • Questions for clarification are always welcome
  • Active listening is integral to the inquiry process
  • Always try to give reasons for your opinions
  • Check your assumptions, reasoning and evidence
  • Ask others for reasons, definitions, evidences, examples or assumptions as necessary
  • Define and discuss points of difference as well as points of agreement
  • Admit when you change your mind about something that you may have thought earlier


  • A sense of community is essential, even with people you are meeting for the first time
  • All opinions are to be respected
  • The discussion itself sets the course of discussion; it is not set by the facilitator
  • Different viewpoints and perspectives are a fundamental part of the process
  • Accept that others may disagree with you, and you with them
  • Mistakes made in good faith are to be seen as opportunities for learning and growth
  • Inquiry is a thinking process that can challenge assumptions and preconceived ideas
  • Inquiry is not about winning an argument
  • Inquiry is about thinking more deeply about matters of importance to you and other members of the community





The Philosothon concept was devised at Hale School in Perth by Matthew Wills and Leanne Rucks. The first two Philosothons were held at Hale WA in 2007 and 2008. In 2008, Ascham School in Sydney held the first Philosothon outside of Perth. In Victoria, Philosothons have been held annually since 2009. For more information on the format, see the website:

More information about Philosothons is also available at: