All the way to Spring Street

Should Australia abolish compulsory voting and should the voting age be lowered to 16? These were the topics tackled by secondary students at the Schools’ Parliamentary Convention at Parliament House in Spring Street on Tuesday. Sacred Heart College, Kyneton, and Salesian College,Sunbury, were two of ten Catholic secondary schools working through these issues while getting a unique insight into the workings of government.

‘We attended peer discussions, lectures from two keynote speakers and a soapbox session before voting in favour of both lowering the voting age and retaining compulsory voting,’ said Edith (Year 10), Michaela (Year 10) and Michelle (Year 9) from Salesian College, Sunbury. ‘It was an amazing opportunity to take part in a lively debate regarding the issues.’

‘Although there was a significant amount of agreement on the topics among many of us, there were also diverse and interesting perspectives presented, and everyone spoke extremely well,’ said Joel (Year 11) and Louisa (Year 10) from Sacred Heart College, Kyneton. ‘Our discussion group time went so quickly, we couldn’t believe it. Everyone was enjoying it so much.’

The Victorian Students’ Parliamentary Program aims to provide opportunities that support the civic learning and active participation in democratic processes of all Victorian students and to support civics and citizenship education.

The secondary Schools’ Parliamentary Convention follows on from a convention for primary students held in August.


Students from Sacred Heart, Kyneton outside Parliament House.

Students from Salesian College, Sunbury inside Parliament House.