Mater Maria enters in the Catholic Schools’ Debating Competition and Catholic Schools' Public Speaking Competition each year. The debating competition comprises six rounds held in Term 2. Teams with five or six victories go on to debate in the semi-final rounds in Term 3. The public speaking competition is held during Term 1 each year. There are three rounds in this competition.
The selection of students for the debating and public speaking teams is made according to students' confidence in public speaking and ability to logically define an argument. Students are judged on the content and structure of their speeches as well as their manner and confidence in addressing an audience.
Five to six students are selected from each year group for the debating team and two students from each year represent the College in the public speaking competition. Each team is given a topic at the debating venue and allowed one hour to prepare.