From Tuesday 21 March to Thursday 24 March 2023, Safety Bay Senior High School Year 12 student, Alysha Peschel, was among 116 Year 11 and 12 students from around Australia attending the 28th National Schools Constitutional Convention (NSCC), held at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, Canberra.
Joining Alysha as Western Australia’s delegate chaperone was Humanities and Social Sciences Head of Learning Area, Kirstie Young-Evans. Ms Young-Evans was responsible for all of WA’s student representatives and enjoyed immersing herself in the program with the students.
The program is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, coordinated by National Curriculum Services and supported by the Australian Curriculum Studies Association and department of education from all states and territories.
The aim of the program is to provide senior students with an opportunity to become better informed about how Australia’s Constitution provides a democratic framework and encourages them to take an active interest in the operation of government. The topic for the 2023 Convention is, ‘Constitutional Reform – Is section 128 still a necessary requirement to change such an important document as the Australian Constitution?’.
Emeritus Professor John Warhurst AO facilitated the Convention where Alysha along with other delegates, spent two days exploring the topic. During the 2 days, students heard from experts, debated the main issues relating to the topic and voted in a mock referendum conducted by the Australian Electoral Commission. The program included the Prime Minister’s Welcome Reception at Parliament House, a meeting with the Governor-General, The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd) at Government House, and a dinner at the High Court of Australia.
Decisions made at the Convention will be incorporated into a Communiqué that will be forwarded to the President of the Senate, Senator Sue Lines. The Communiqué will then be tabled in Parliament.
As a national delegate, Alysha was selected from hundreds of students from government, independent and Catholic schools, most of whom took part in feeder conventions in their home state or territory.
For more images of Alysha and Kirstie at the Convention, head over to the Safety Bay Senior High School Facebook page.