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Young People Can Demand Change

Early Monday morning, Year 6 departed Brisbane for the nation’s capital, Canberra. This will be an amazing learning experience for the boys and as a ‘seasoned campaigner’ having done the Canberra tour before, I am exceptionally excited for what our students will learn, see, experience and remember.

In preparation for this inaugural adventure, leadership has been the focus in our subjects. In English we have studied ‘Animal Farm’ and seen how the cowardly and conniving leadership of Napoleon ultimately served only himself. In Science, pioneers who bravely argued against established ideas to enhance our understanding of the earth were studied. In Religion, we have looked at service leadership and the example of Jesus and Pope Francis. In History we looked at the creation of laws and the role of parliament, and on our return, examining former prime ministers and the demonstration of courageous leadership.

Time is neutral and does not change things. With courage and initiative, leaders change things.’ Jesse Jackson

This term we are aiming to inform our Year 6 students of Australian democracy and the role that we all need to play within it. While it is still sometime before they will be active participants as voters, understanding the processes of laws and how they come about is essential to being informed. Interestingly, in the news at the moment, we can see the importance of students being informed about law making. As a teacher, seeing students standing up and demanding action of politicians in the US ameliorates teaching these topics. Well-informed students can demand change for the better and these young people have demonstrated courageous leadership.

Visiting the centre of Australian democracy will no doubt be the highlight of the year for many of the students. It is the culmination of our units around good leadership requiring courage. When they return home, the first stories will probably not be about Parliament House or the High Court, but hopefully the whole tour is an indelible memory.

Gavin Baumber
Junior School Learning & Curriculum Leader
baumberg@atc.qld.edu.au