This year, the Wilson Year 4/5 class went on an excursion to the city to learn more about democracy, rules and laws and the election process. They went to the Constitution Centre, the Electoral Commission and finally, to Parliament House. It was a great day!
At the Constitution Centre, students had to work together to design their own camp experience, making sure that they showed the skills required to collaborate, such as listening, speaking clearly and compromising to accommodate the views of others.
Next, students got a taste of preferential voting. Unique to Australia, this means each vote in an election goes towards the final candidates and influences who wins each seat and election. Students voted for Kit Kats, Skittles, Mars Bars and Maltesers. Surprisingly, Kit Kats were the eventual winner, as students’ second and third votes were reallocated to this sweet treat!
Finally, students were able to do a tour of Parliament House. There were many things to discover along the way including the first female politician anywhere in Australia. That was Edith Cowan in 1921, who overcame a lot of obstacles and discrimination to get there. One of our universities is also named after her. Students also learnt about the two houses of government, the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council. The colour of each one was fascinating for the students, and the fact that the mace was historically used to put out fights inside the chambers!
A highlight for students was the opportunity to actually sit in the chambers and taking on the roles of politicians debating legislation. Students were able to debate a Bill looking at reducing graffiti and read actual statements discussing the best ways to do this. Other key roles included the Speaker, Whip and Sergeant-at-arms.