Student Achievement - 2023 Queensland Schools Constitutional… | Coomera Anglican College

Student Achievement - 2023 Queensland Schools Constitutional Convention

On 21 - 23 March 2023, Year 12 Student and Student Council Representative Chair, Charlotte B, was one of 116, Year 11 and 12 students from around Australia who were selected to attend the 28th National Schools Constitutional Convention (NSCC), held at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, Canberra.

The program was funded by the Australian Government Department of Education (DOE), coordinated by National Curriculum Services (NCS), and supported by the Australian Curriculum Studies Association (ACSA) and departments of education from all states and territories.

The aim of the program was to provide senior students with an opportunity to become better informed about how Australia's Constitution provides a democratic framework and encouraged them to take an active interest in the operation of government.

The topic for the 2023 Convention was, ‘Constitutional Reform - Is section 128 still a necessary requirement to change such an important document as the Australian Constitution?’

Delegates discussed the importance of a double majority in Australia and compared our means of constitutional alteration to other nations including Canada, the United States of America and New Zealand. A mock referendum occurred where students found that the delegates from across the nation agreed that a double majority allowed for a more coherent system of checks and balances before a constitutional amendment is made, compared to a single majority.

Emeritus Professor John Warhurst AO facilitated the Convention where Charlotte, 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.

As a national delegate, Charlotte 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. 

This was a huge achievement for me and I have met the most incredible and influential political leaders and students...I am so lucky to have attended the 28th NSCC and I am forever grateful for this wonderful experience!

Charlotte B