Senior Schools’ State Parliamentary Convention
On Wednesday 12 September, Year 10 students Shailee C and Max S represented Bialik at the 2018 Senior Schools’ State Parliamentary Convention with over 80 students from across Victoria in attendance. The topic of the day was, “Does the Constitutional meet the needs of modern Australia?”
The day was held at Parliament House, Melbourne, with all proceedings taking place within the Legislative Assembly and began with a welcome to country delivered by Perry Wandin from The Wurundjeri Council and a welcome to attendees delivered by Ms Maree Edwards MP Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. Ms Judith Graley MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Education then introduced the topic, reminding us of the words by John Quincy Adams, 6th president of The United States, “Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.” Following this students from selected secondary schools were invited to make opening statements and Max gave an address on behalf of Bialik.
Morgan Begg, Research Fellow from The Institute of Public Affairs and Laureate Professor Emeritus Cheryl Saunders AO from The University of Melbourne, gave keynote addresses and then students broke into mixed school discussion groups where they discussed and debated the reasons for and against making changes to the Constitution to meet the needs of modern Australia.
Following a lunch break, representatives from each discussion group reported back to the assembly, with The Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly chairing the session. Individual students then had the opportunity to share their personal views during the soap box session. The final vote showed that the majority of attendees believe that the Constitution does not meet the needs of modern Australia. The day was an interesting and provocative one as our delegates heard many different views from students from different schools, backgrounds and experiences. The event was officially closed by Mr Tim Smith MP, Shadow Minister for Education.
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