Unity College students selected for inaugural SA Student Representative Council
Year 10 students Ellie Harrison and Grace Rolton have been chosen to participate in a state-wide first which encourages students to pioneer their own change.
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Two year 10 students from Unity College have been selected to join the inaugural SA Student Representative Council, which aims to give students the opportunity to make real change.
Grace Rolton and Ellie Harrison are participating in this state-wide first, and have big plans for their time in office.
“It’s an opportunity to collaborate with like-minded students, and have our opinions taken into account in the decision making process,” Grace said.
Ellie said one of the most exciting aspects of the role was the prospect of actually making a difference.
“We want to change the curriculum of the Personal Learning Project (PLP), provide a safe space for LBGTQ-plus students and place a real focus on the environment,” Ellie said.
“There is also a lack of psychologists for students in rural areas, so that’s something we want to change.”
Grace explained why PLP needed to change.
“PLP is supposed to teach you life skills, but when students leave school they don’t know how to survive … they don’t know how to file a tax return, they don’t know how to cook,” she said.
The SRC consists of 166 students from around South Australia in years 10, 11 and 12 who are determined to make a difference in their schools and education.
Grace said it was important to have students from both metro and regional and rural areas included in the council.
“The issues that affect schools in the metro area are very different to those that affect schools in regional and rural areas,” Grace said.
“In our action team, we have been grouped with students from Kangaroo Island, Ceduna and Mount Gambier, so its quite widespread.
“Our team is great; we are working with some very intelligent people.”
Grace and Ellie applied for the program together in a joint application in March, and were chosen from a pool of 800 students.
The initiative is run by the Commissioner for Children and Young People in collaboration with the Foundation for Young Australians, with the support of the National Indigenous Youth Education Coalition.
South Australian Commissioner for Children and Young People, Helen Connolly, said in a statement addressed to South Australian students how the SA SRC came to be.
“I asked you what I could do to support you to make a difference in your community and satisfy your growing appetite for mechanisms that are representative of young people, and which can deliver on your agendas,” Ms Connolly said.
“You told me that a state-wide body that brought many of you together would provide the visibility, scale and support you need to be taken seriously.
“The SA SRC is my response to this request and comes with a commitment to supporting young South Australian school students like you who are eager to engage meaningfully in active citizenship, in ways that will ensure you can be heard and seen, and which work for you.”