Constitution A Hot Topic For Student Debate

Students from two schools in Melbourne’s northern suburbs today enjoyed their first taste of parliamentary debate as they battled it out in a regional forum.

Minister for Education James Merlino delivered the closing address at the 2015 Regional Schools’ Constitution Convention following a day of lively discussion at Lalor Secondary College.

The convention – which featured 120 students in Year 9 to 12 – from Lalor Secondary College and Camberwell Grammar School – is one of six taking place across Victoria.

The aim of the one-day conferences is to bring together students from across Victoria to discuss different aspects of the constitution that are important to their school communities.

Student teams watched as their selected representatives presented arguments on the topic, “Should rights, especially of marginalised groups, be protected under the Australian Constitution? If so, how?”

Students conducted thorough research prior to the convention to learn more about the topic and inform their views on the key issues.

This year, six Victorian schools will host Regional Schools’ Constitution Conventions: Lalor Secondary College, Bendigo Secondary College, Strathcona Baptist Girls Grammar School, Mater Christi College, Sunbury College and Mount Alexander College.

Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino

“The Regional Schools’ State Constitutional Conventions allows students to have their voice heard and promotes understanding of our democratic processes.”

Quote attributable to Member for Mill Park Lily D’Ambrosio

“The conventions give students the opportunity to develop as active and informed citizens, which is key to a healthy and thriving democracy.”

Quote attributable to Member for Thomastown Bronwyn Halfpenny

“The Andrews Labor Government is committed to improving civics and citizenship so that all Victorian children and young people have the knowledge and skills to contribute to our multicultural society.”

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