Students crash course in all things council
A SMALL group of Miriam Vale State School students received a real-life crash course in civics last week whenthey took an excursion to Gladstone.
Year 9 and 10 students trekked up the Bruce Highway to attend last Tuesday's Gladstone Regional Council meeting, before stopping by Flynn MP Ken O'Dowd's office and finishing off at the Gladstone Court House.
Teacher Russell Jansson said the visit was part of the students' civics and citizenship studies, which aim to educate on the workings of a democracy, while also demonstrating how the various levels of government interact with each other on issues such as roads, education and immigration.
"The students are currently studying the democratic processes that are present in Australia today," Mr Jansson said.
"We've been studying the various levels of government - federal, state and local - and this was a great opportunity for these students to see the most accessible of government levels in action."
Mr Jansson said it was a perfect opportunity for students to witness democracy in action.
"It also allowed the students to meet the councillors personally and discuss some of their concerns with them," he said.
"Water is a big issue in Miriam Vale at present and several of the students had some questions for the council about their plans and progress on this topic."
Trips to Mr O'Dowd's office and the courthouse followed.
"Mr O'Dowd had a meeting with the students and outlined some of the main activities that his office is involved with on a day-to-day basis," Mr Jansson said.
"He also talked about his work on the parliamentary committees that he is working with at the moment.
"As it was National Flag Day, he kindly donated a flag for the school, which is now flying outside the administration building. He also gave the students a copy of a biography about John Flynn, the man who the electorate that he represents is named after.
"Following on from this meeting, the students then visited the Gladstone Court House.
"The magistrate very generously stayed on after calling an adjournment to the morning's proceedings, and explained to the students what they had just observed and why things were done that way.
"The students enjoyed their visits and found them very informative."