Secondary Schools Parliamentary Convention – Joel Blanch and Louisa Gildea

Attending Parliament House on Tuesday 12 September, and having the opportunity to actually use the chamber our State politicians work in, was very exciting.  The staff, and the people running the event, were welcoming and friendly and went out of their way to make us feel at home.  As well as relaxing in the beautiful Queen’s Hall, we were also able to have a look in the Senate chamber and were taken on a tour to the Parliamentary office area, which was fantastic.  It’s an amazing
building!

The event was extremely well-run and a very enjoyable experience.  The key-note speakers were inspiring  and we were so impressed by all the students in our discussion groups, and in the feedback and ‘soap-box’ sessions in the Parliament. 
Although there was a significant amount of agreement on the said topic under among many of us, there were also diverse and interesting perspectives presented, and everyone spoke extremely well.  Our discussion group time went so quickly we couldn’t believe it, everyone was enjoying it so much.

Gaining a stronger understanding of the way Parliament operates, having that
hands-on experience and enjoying working with other students who are as interested and enthusiastic about politics as we are – all added up to a brilliant day.  Admittedly, catching the early train was a challenge, but our sympathies are with the students from Girton Grammar and Marist College in Bendigo who had to be on the 6am train to get there! It was good to see that five schools from our Local Convention attended the State Parliament and it was really good to catch up with those students we had worked with before.