Q&A with Mai-Wel Celebrity Debaters!


Peter Rowsthorn

Australian Comedian, Actor and Captain for the affirmative team at the 2017 Celebrity Comedy Debate

Have you been to Maitland before? 

I’ve been to Maitland many times. I did a gig with Stevie Starr in the 90’s in Maitland. I can’t remember what pub it was but it was a pretty bodgy pub. It was OK though, everybody laughed. People are people - no matter where they live. It’s all good. 

We all know that you’re an expert at improvisation. Is this your strategy for the Debate? To wing it?

Well look, yes. There will be a fair bit of ‘winging’ going on… but I will have to have something up my sleeve, something with a bit of credibility, so I’ll no doubt think of a few things. I’ve got a long flight and drive so I’ve got plenty of time to think about it. I’ll be on my game!

As the Captain of the affirmative team, how are you preparing for the argument of ‘fame trumps brains’? 

Well, I’ve had some level of fame, I wouldn’t say I’ve been super famous, but I know from what I achieved in my academic years that people would be amazed at how such a stupid person has gone so far! My teachers would be like “what the hell? That guy can barely write!”

Andy Saunders is taking on the role of Captain for the Negative Team, arguing that “intelligence is more important than popularity”. Can you share a strategy or two that you’re planning to take down your opponent?

Oh… taking him down? No, I pretty much play my own game. I’ve always done that in sport, I don’t worry about the opposition. I just treat them as non-existent. So if the negative team wants to take me down – bring it on! 

Are you anticipating anything that the negative team are going to throw at your team in the battle to take out the win?

No way. I’m as light as a pussycat. I’ll just work around whatever they throw at me. I’ll just be dancing around like a crazy person saying ‘nothing will touch me, nothing will touch me’. And because of my sheer fame and my overall beauty, they will just be in awe of what they’re looking at. 

Can you give our guests a little taste of what to expect from you at Mai-Wel’s 13th Annual Celebrity Comedy Debate? What will they expect?

They can expect to laugh. My only go-to tactic is to get people to like me! I never want to walk away disliked, so I’ll be trying my hardest to get the audience on side.

Andy Saunders

Australian Comedian and Negative Team Captain at the 2017 Celebrity Comedy Debate

Have you ever been to Maitland? What did you think?

I have been to Maitland a few times in my years and every time I thought wow, so this is Maitland, cool. Seriously, I used to go to Maitland to visit family years ago but I always thought the name was inaccurate, not one of my mates lived there.

Being that you are relatively new to debating, but are a seasoned public speaker, MC and of course, comedian – what are you expectations of the Mai-Wel Debate? How do you think you’ll perform?

I agree that I am new to debating but I am not new to arguing. If I think I am starting to lose I will just start arguing. Trust me, it will be much more entertaining. 

You are a very successful and well-known Australian comedian. How are you preparing for the Debate as Captain of the Negative team, arguing that ‘fame does not trump brains’?

I am trying to build my social media platform to its fullest so that if I do lose the debate it will prove that fame does not trump brains. Of course I will do this in the smartest way possible which means I will buy fake followers. I am not sure what this comment just proved.

What can you bring to your team?

Fun, friendship and the skill of accepting defeat. 

Can you reveal any hints to our guests of what to expect from you on Saturday, 12th August at Maitland Town Hall at the Debate?

Let’s just say that I will have an ironed shirt on and there will be some things I will put the audience through that can get them in trouble with the law, their parents and their partners and families, some may go to jail but it is all going to be worth it in the end. I will be fine though. 

Learn About Us 

About Us

woman and man smiling

The Mai-Wel Group is one of the larger Disability Service Providers in the Lower Hunter Region, providing services and programs to more than 800 clients across nine Local Government Areas.

The Mai-Wel Group employs more than 170 local support and administrative staff in addition to 110 local supported employees. The ethos of The Mai-Wel Group carries throughout the organisation from management and staff, and on to clients.

Learn more about us

Latest News
Contact Us

Phone 02 4057 2900


Head Office:
Unit 4/555 High Street, Maitland NSW 2320
Postal Address:
PO Box 835, Maitland NSW 2320
Stay Connected