Ryan Murray from Year 12 is one of 120 Year 11 and 12 students to be selected to participate in the 2018 National Schools Constitutional Convention in Canberra from 20-22 March.
Who should be eligible to sit in our Parliament? That is the issue student delegates will consider at the Convention. The students will review the main issues of Section 44 which sets out the conditions under which disqualification as a Member of Parliament may occur. These include bankruptcy, a criminal conviction, allegiance to a foreign power, holding an office of profit under the Crown (or pension), or direct or financial interest in any Commonwealth agreement.
Students will hear from a panel of experts and will discuss in working groups the five sub-sections of Section 44, before they vote in a mock referendum. The outcome will be incorporated in a Communiqué which will be presented to the Senate and incorporated into Hansard.
As a national delegate, Ryan was selected from around 1,000 students from government, independent and Catholic schools, many of whom participated in their state or territory Conventions.
“I am honoured to have been given this once in a lifetime opportunity and I look forward to debating current issues regarding the Australian Constitution. I could not have achieved this without the backing of Oakhill College. I am incredibly appreciative of the College teaching staff who have fully supported me, and I am extremely grateful for this chance to represent today’s youth.”
The National Schools Constitutional Convention programme provides senior students with an opportunity to become better informed about how Australia’s Constitution provides a democratic framework and encourages them to take an active interest in the operation of government.