Primary Schools Parliamentary Convention
On Wednesday 15 August, Year 5 students Kiera E and Toby S represented Bialik at the 2018 Primary Schools’ Parliamentary Convention.
The topic of the day was, “Should a sugar tax be introduced to improve public health?” Held at Parliament House, Melbourne, all proceedings of the day took place within the Legislative Assembly. The event began with a welcome to country delivered by Perry Wandin from The Wurundjeri Council and a welcome to attendees delivered by The Hon Martin Dixon, MP, acting as Speaker of The Legislative Assembly. Ms Ros Spence MP, Member for Yuroke then introduced the topic for the convention and led into opening addresses.
Students from selected primary schools were invited to make opening statements and Kiera gave an address on behalf of Bialik. Associate Professor Julian Rait OAM from The Australian Medical Association of Victoria and Simone Austin, President of Sports Dieticians Australia, gave keynote addresses and following these, students broke into mixed school discussion groups where they discussed and debated the reasons for and against introducing a sugar tax. Following a lunchbreak, representatives from each discussion group reported back to the assembly, with Hon Martin Dixon, MP 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 a sugar tax should be introduced with 46 voting in favour of it and 45 against it. The day was an interesting and provocative one as we heard and the students learned about emotive, factual and well researched views.
The day was officially closed by Hon Mr Tim Smith MP, Shadow Minister for Education.
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