Irene McCormack engage with Parliament ministers in rare visit

14 June 2024

For the first time in its history, Irene McCormack Catholic College welcomed the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Hon Milton Dick MP to their school grounds on 13 June, as part of the government’s Parliament in Schools program. This rare opportunity provided an insight for Year 11 and 12 students to gain firsthand information into the workings of the Australian Parliament and the impact of successful policy implementations in their area.

During the visit, Speaker Milton Dick delivered an

engaging and informative address to senior students, shedding light on the daily operations of the parliament. He explained the intricacies of parliamentary procedures, the importance of legislative processes, and the role of the Speaker in maintaining order and facilitating debates. The students were captivated by his anecdotes and the behind-the-scenes look at ‘how decisions that shape our nation are made.’

“Since we launched this program, we have visited over 100 schools across Australia – from King Island to Far North Queensland, and now Nullagine.

“The Parliament in Schools program is an integral part of improving civics education across Australia.

“This program’s success is driven by its bi-partisanship. I am really looking forward to spending time with these federal MPs from across the political spectrum, to bring the Australian Parliament into their local schools.”

Member for Pearce, Ms Tracey Roberts MP, highlighted several successful policies and initiatives that have positively impacted the local community. The students learned about the significant contributions made in areas such as education, infrastructure, and community development. These real-world examples of effective governance provided valuable lessons on the tangible outcomes of political decision-making.

The visit concluded with a lively Q&A session, where students posed thoughtful questions about current political issues, the challenges faced by legislators, and the future direction of Australian policies. Both visitors were impressed by the students’ engagement and their keen interest in civic matters.

Mrs Cassandra Bull, Head of HASS, commented “This historic visit not only enriched the students’ understanding of the parliamentary system, but also inspired many to consider careers in public service. Irene McCormack Catholic College is grateful for the time and insights shared by the Hon Milton Dick MP and the Member for Pearce, Ms Tracey Roberts MP, and we look forward to fostering an ongoing relationship with our nation’s leaders.”

About the Parliament in Schools program

Launched in September 2022, the Parliament in Schools program is a bi-partisan initiative to make civics education accessible to students regardless of their location. In collaboration with local federal members, the Speaker is visiting schools across Australia to bring parliament to them.
The program is an extension to well-established Parliamentary Education Office (PEO) onsite, digital and outreach education programs available to schools across Australia.
It also complements the existing PEO online and print resources that are curriculum-aligned, for Australian teachers and students.

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