The boys� own project by 3CVp5o2Z


									SRCs and student leadership in the Batemans Bay District

Stages: 3–6
School: Moruya High School and Batemans Bay District Office
Address: Albert St, MORUYA NSW 2537 and 15A Citi Centre, Orient St,
Telephone: 02 4474 2155 and 02 4475 3300
Facsimile: 02 4474 3782 and 02 4475 3340
Contact: Peter King and Llewelyn Reid

Rationale, aims and objectives

NSW public high and central schools have Student Representative Councils
(SRCs). Most public primary schools have some kind of student leadership
scheme. Every district has a district SRC. However, some schools and
districts are more organised and effective in promoting and supporting student
leadership activities for their students. It is the hope of the teachers on the
South Coast to further promote the statewide network of SRCs by highlighting
our best practices.

For the last two years there has been a combined Four District SRC
Conference at Tuross Heads on the South Coast. The conference runs for
three days and brings together 80 students from 38 high and central schools.

This conference has advantages in that it pools scarce resources to create
one conference rather than four. It generates a critical mass of students from
a wide cultural, social and geographical area. It performs the dual function of
enhancing SRC skills for the students who attend and preparing delegates to
attend the state SRC conference. Thus it has advantages both for individual
schools and for our region as a collective group.


1) Four District (Batemans Bay, Queanbeyan, Shellharbour and
Wollongong) South Coast SRC conference

The conference is planned by a working party of 6–10 students, usually two
elected from each district. They give up their weekends and travel long
distances to take an active role in this planning process. These students
develop the theme for the conference, plan the program, engage the

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                  NSW Discovering Democracy professional development
presenters and lead students through the activities. The costs of these
planning days are built into the overall cost of the conference.

It is preferred that the conference be held before the State SRC Conference,
which is held in early Term 3, so that:
i) suitable delegates can be elected to attend the state conference and
training can be provided for them for their role
ii) motions or recommendations from south coast students can be prepared to
be taken to the State SRC Conference and that will survive formal debating
iii) the theme of last year’s state conference has been dealt with by all schools
in the district (accountability)
iv) data can be provided to state office on school activities and conference
follow-up from the previous year.

Batemans Bay district encourages the best students at a school level to work
on the district SRC. The best students at a district level work on the Four
District Conference working party and become group leaders at the
conference. They then may earn the right to either attend the state
conference or represent at a state SRC level in the following year. This
graduation ensures students have a clear understanding of the pathway to
higher representation and are progressively trained to take on those roles.

2) District communication and District meetings

The Batemans Bay SRC executive (four students) has its own e-group,, which enables the executive to keep in
regular contact. The south coast conference working party has its own e-
group,, to assist in
conference planning. Because distance and time are always issues the use of
electronic communication is essential. E-groups are an excellent method of
achieving effective communication and ensuring tasks are completed.
District meetings are held each term in a central location and are led by the
district student executive. Twice per year meetings are held in both the north
and south of the district to encourage all schools to attend and effectively
share the burden of travel.

District meetings are essential in providing the vital link between what is
occurring at a school level and the flow of information from the NSW SRC.
Without effective district meetings, schools tend to become insular and focus
purely on school-based issues, e.g. discos, fundraising and mufti days. They
also are less able to respond and contribute to issues and action taking place
at a state level.

3) Working with primary schools
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In the last twelve months the Batemans Bay District SRC has made a
concerted effort to promote and encourage primary leadership skills. All high
and central schools in the district were asked to work with their local feeder
schools to provide leadership training to SRCs or school parliaments. This
resulted in many one-day training workshops presented by secondary
students to local primary students.

This led to the search for a primary district SRC adviser. This could be
someone working in the primary area with an interest in leadership activities.
A committed teacher was found and then provided with a relief and activity
budget from district funds. Batemans Bay is the first district in the State to
have a District Primary SRC adviser.

This initiative led to the first Primary Leadership Conference that took place
over two days. The first full-day’s activities were coordinated and led by
secondary SRC students and focused on the development of the students’
leadership skills. The second day was coordinated and led by primary

As a result, this year primary students in the Batemans Bay district have been
given a taste of what leadership activities are about and have been provided
with skills to use for the betterment of their schools. A link between primary
students and secondary SRCs has also been created. Students with an
interest in student leadership are aware of SRCs and their activities before
they arrive in a secondary school. Most importantly, through this work primary
teachers have been trained to develop their own skills in the area of student
leadership and it is hoped that this will have benefits for primary students for
many years to come.


The strengths and weaknesses of the Batemans Bay District SRC are under
constant evaluation. Currently it is believed that the district is leading the way
in providing innovative and resourceful strategies to support both school and
state SRCs. The students trained through the program are at the forefront of
school, district and state leadership roles. These student leaders are better
prepared and more able to tackle roles at each of these levels.

Through this program of the Batemans Bay District SRCs’ interdependence
has been fostered and encouraged. The program is seen to sit squarely at the
centre of two entities: school SRCs and the state level SRC groups. This dual
role can be a difficult one to grasp but lies at the heart of any successful
district SRC.
                          Best practice in civics and citizenship
                   NSW Discovering Democracy professional development

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