If school kids ever wanted to know what it was like to be prime minister, they will get their chance when the Parliament in Schools program comes to Ipswich.
The program is a local version of the successful and well established one run by the Parliamentary Education Office in Canberra which gives primary and secondary students hands-on experience of how Parliament works.
With a combination of role-play and content tailored to their grade level students learn about federation, democracy and the Australian Parliament, as well as hear what happens behind the scenes.
Speaker of the House of Representatives and Member for Oxley, Milton Dick, launched the national Parliament in Schools program in 2022 with a focus on making civics education accessible to students regardless of their location. Since then, it has been delivered to schools across the nation from Far North Queensland to Perth and delivered with the support of federal members in each region.
“One of my biggest priorities as Speaker is to increase the accessibility of civics education. Every student should have the opportunity to learn about democracy and the parliament, whether they are able to travel to Canberra or not,” said Mr Dick.
Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding has committed council to provide in-kind support and facilities to roll out the program locally in partnership with Mr Dick.
“This is an incredible opportunity for Ipswich schools to learn about democracy and good government, subjects that I am extremely passionate about,” Mayor Harding said.
“When children understand how our governments work, they become more likely to actively engage with government and make their voices heard as adults.”
“I am looking forward to the next phase of Parliament in Schools, where I will be able to work closely with Mayor Harding to deliver this important program to Ipswich students,” Mr Dick said
The Parliament in Schools program will come to Ipswich in the first half of the year and is a bi-partisan initiative to make civics education accessible to all students. The program explores the function, purpose and value of Australia’s system of government by explaining how laws are made through Parliament; the responsibilities of representatives; the formation of government and how government is kept accountable.