On Wednesday the 5th of April, we were given the opportunity to attend a leadership conference for senior high school leaders at NSW Parliament House. It was also attended by schools from the northern beaches, the central coast, western Sydney and the south coast. After arriving at Parliament, we were directed to a theatre where we were able to meet the state members for our local areas including the State Member for Prospect, Dr. Hugh McDermott. During this time they shared with us the many avenues they took to become members for their local area. Many of them had degrees in other areas such as economics or teaching and most of them had been involved in politics since they were young. Following this we attended bill readings in both the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council in order to learn about how laws are made and passed at a state level. It was very interesting and we enjoyed seeing both sides debate each other.
At 1:30, we were invited to Government House in the Botanical Gardens to meet the Governor of NSW, His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley. We were given a tour of the house which is over 170 years old and learnt about the history of Australian government and the past governors of NSW. Following the tour, we were able to explore the garden as well as take in the view of the harbour. We were then asked back inside where we were introduced to His Excellency and Mrs Hurley. We also had the pleasure of meeting the governor and his wife and discussing our roles in our school community.
It was an amazing opportunity for us to be able to learn about Australian politics, as well as see it in action and we have gained many new ideas about becoming involved in the political life our local area, state and country.
By Beth Carroll and Amy Mandato