Year 5 and Year 6 Students Shine as Youth Members of Parliament

Latest News, Sunday, 16 June 2024

Four Year 5 and Year 6 students attended Parliament House to participate in a true-to-life experience as Youth Members of Parliament.

Director of Middle School and Special Projects Mr Tim Spina said it was a worthwhile experience for students giving them insight into what happens inside Parliament House.

The group joined 92 students from schools across Brisbane, where they delivered speeches in front of their peers in a re-enactment of a parliamentary sitting.

St James College teacher Ms Liz Meadows said the opportunity for the students to speak at Parliament House was met with enthusiasm and creativity.

“Whilst they learnt many skills, including preparing a 60-second speech on a variety of topics, how to use effective research skills, and perfecting volume and pace, the highlight was the experience of sitting in parliament and being a youth member.” Ms Meadows said.

The session was livestreamed as students spoke on topics including opposing the bill that pineapple pizza should become the food emblem for Queensland, that the work week should not be reduced to four days, and that the screen time epidemic affecting our children should be prevented.

Students also spoke on a topic of their choice, which was highlights of the Jimmies Cultural Night. Year 6 student Matheus said, ‘Through the art of dance, they transcended language barriers and embraced the universal language of movement,’ to which a ‘hear, hear’ moment erupted in the chamber.

After the event, Matheus said it was a good opportunity that felt good.

“I was a little shy at first, but it built my confidence in public speaking, and I felt good.’

Abu, who is also in Year 6, said it helped him overcome stage fright.

“It was a great experience. It made me overcome my fear of stage fright. My favourite part was saying my speech.”

Ms Meadows said it was a great opportunity to prioritise real-world experiences over virtual ones.

“Let’s reclaim children’s imaginations from the clutches of screens. Let’s teach them the value of face-to-face communication and the joy of exploring the natural world.”