Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Binus, Stikes Bali, OTP Seek to Bring Australs 2014 to Indonesia

A bid to bring the Australasian Intervarsity Debating Championship to Indonesia next year is in full swing. The parties responsible are Sekolah Tinggi Ilmu Kesehatan (Stikes) Bali, the nursing school that has never competed in Australs before, their mentors from On That Point, the Jakarta-based public speaking institute run by former and current debaters with international debating experience, and the Jakarta-based Binus University from where many of the OTP personnel hail. The other bidder is University of Otago, the New Zealand college that reached the final of the last WUDC.

The Indonesia bid's mantra to beat the Kiwis is the location - the paradise island of Bali. The proposed hotel, the sprawling Grand Inna, is literally on the famous Kuta Beach, where surfers around the world seek the perfect waves, sunbathers seek the perfect tan and sightseers seek the perfect red sunset. It also a hop away from all sorts of nightlife. Several snazzy establishments in southern Bali have been lined up for the parties. As a place drenched in culture and blessed with natural beauty, the tourist haven also has myriad choices of artistic entertainment and excursions.

The four-star hotel would be the venue for everything related to the tournament before the break announcement. The knockouts until the semis would take place at Stikes Bali, which hosted Indonesia's national BP competition in 2012. The Hard Rock Ballroom, across the street from Grand Inna, is the choice for the finals.

While OTP-trained Stikes Bali is the home institution, its students will not hold key posts. The convener and her deputies as well as leaders of the socials, transport, accommodation, food, registration and publication units would be Binus University students with experience in running the annual  Jakarta-based Asian English Olympics debate. The tournament director would be OTP's Aryo Febrian, a Bakrie University student who championed the 2011 United Asian Debating Championship's EFL category. The Balinese would act as liaison officers, runners and unit members.
Bryan Gunawan, a Binus University alumnus who founded OTP, is the proposed chief adjudicator. He championed the EFL category of the 2008 Asian Universities Debating Championship and served as DCA at the 2011 Asian BP. His deputies would be Kristen Price (University of Queensland - Australs 2007 Champion), David Maher (University of New South Wales - USU 2011 Finalist), Arinah Najwa (International Islamic University Malaysia - Australs 2011 Best ESL Speaker) and Sandeep Chulani (University of Hong Kong - 2009 East Asian IV Best Grand Final Speaker). The project is expected to spend $20,000 on travel subsidies to strengthen the judging pool.

The main tabmasters would be IBM's Rendy Darmawidjaja, a Binus University alumnus who worked on the WUDC 2013 tabs, and University of Melbourne's Michael Ciesielski, who tabbed Australs 2009.   

The proposed dates would be July 22 to 30, which may pose an issue for Muslims because Eid al Fitr, one of the holiest days of the religion when families gather, falls on July 29 next year. This is no problem from an organizing aspect. While more than 80 per cent of Indonesians follow Islam, Bali is predominantly Hindu and July is always a busy holiday season.                  

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