15 Jul 2019
Minister’s Student Congress held
Niina Staunton from Palmerston Primary School and Sophia Duve from Dickson College participating in the discussions at the Minister’s Student Congres. (Photo: supplied).
More than 120 students gathered for the Minister’s Student Congress, held at the Hedley Beare Centre for Teaching and Learning on 5 July.
Led by a student executive group elected by their peers, the Congress is a forum where students can share their ideas and provide advice to the Minister for Education and Early Childhood Development. The Executive facilitates the Congress which is held twice a year and represents the wider student body with the ACT Minister for Education.
Past congresses have had a positive impact on the direction of education in the ACT by discussing the issues that are important to students. This Congress was no different, as students across ACT public schools – from early childhood through to college – focused on the issue of bullying.
Over the day, students engaged in a range of activities designed to stimulate discussion, thoughts and ideas of students regarding perspectives on bullying.
This included discussions on students’ awareness and knowledge of bullying, what students can do to take action against or prevent bullying behaviour (being an ‘upstander’), as well as sharing their thoughts on what makes a school friendly and welcoming.
A report on the outcomes of the Congress will be generated by the student executive and shared with the Minister. The discussions demonstrated students have a high level of awareness around what bullying means, as well as the difference between being a bystander and an upstander (person who takes action in a safe way to stop bullying).
The Minister’s Student Congress brings to life the foundations and principles set out in the Future of Education Strategy by putting students at the centre of their learning journey and enabling greater agency and voice in what and how students learn.