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Canberra Speaking School

Learning by doing.

Student Centred

Safe. Fun. Educational. These are the three tiers that make up our core teaching philosophy, with our students at the centre of each.

Practice Makes Perfect

Central to our teaching philosophy is that students learn by doing.  We keep our classes small to ensure every student has their turn, and receives extensive personal feedback.


As our founders know, it is hard to build the confidence to speak.  We do our best to make sure every student is comfortable in their class to help them get over their fears.


The ability to speak in public is a lifelong skill.  We do our best to ensure that each of our students learns something that they will carry with them for years to come.

Our Story

Canberra Speaking School forms part of Australian Speaking Schools, the largest interstate operator of public speaking and debating programs in the country.  Started and nurtured by co-founder Mark Slaven and director Ben Hewitt, they have joined forces with Max Koslowski, a local resident heavily involved in the national public speaking and international debating scenes, with the view to bringing their unique courses to the next generation of Canberran school students.  Using their combined skills honed through years of experience, Ben, Max and Mark continue to bring excellence to the fore using fun and engaging courses targeted at improving the speaking skills of primary and senior school students across Canberra.

Mark Slaven

Mark Slaven

National Director

Mark, a former commercial lawyer, has been an avid debater and public speaker since high school, and has competed in more national and international competitions than he is able to count. Most recently he added to his resume as the runner up in Ron Shorter Memorial Award, put on by the Australian Insurance Law Association.

As the former business manager of Speak Out Education, ex-Chief Adjudicator of the prestigious FED interschool debating competition and an honorary life member of the Macquarie University Debating Society, Mark is devoted to using his experience to teach the next generation of speakers.

Max Koslowski

Max Koslowski

Regional Director - ACT

Throughout high school in Sydney, Max did plenty of debating and public speaking. He was part of the team that won the prestigious GPS Premiership twice, a state finalist in the Plain English Speaking Award, and the national winner of the Evatt Model United Nations Competition. In 2016, Max was also part of the NSW State Debating Squad.

Now attending Australian National University, Max has been an active adjudicator and debating coach in Canberra. He has had experience adjudicating all age groups in the ACTDU competitions. He’s also continued to compete in the university debating scene – Max reached the Grand Final of the Australian Intervarsity Debating Championships in 2017.

Ben Hewitt

Ben Hewitt

Director of Staff Development

Ben has been debating for over a decade, in high school he was in the Grand Final of the premiers debating challenge for two years running, winning it in his final year. He is a respected member of the debating community with 4 years of coaching experience. Ben’s passion for teaching is only rivaled by his love of debating, he is an active member of the debating community and continues to adjudicate the Eastside Competition, HICES and Premier’s High School debating competitions, among others.

Ben is the former president of the University of Wollongong Debating Society. He has competed and adjudicated at numerous international tournaments and domestic tournaments and has progressed to the finals series on numerous occasions.