Samuel Brown, Lola Caple, Andrew McMath and I took part in the Queensland Schools Constitutional Convention where we debated and attempted to answer the question “Should the Constitution have a new preamble that would recognise our history, our aspirations and the many peoples and groups that make up our nation?”. We started the day listening to guest speakers, such as Dr. Benjamin Jones from Australian National University and Eddie Synot from Griffith University, who taught us about the subtilties of a preamble and the power that they can have in framing the values and beliefs of a country. The guest speakers motivated and inspired us to consider how we could develop a Preamble that was more than just a symbolic gesture.
The virtual convention gave us the opportunity to work with our groups to explore the values we believe that an Australian Preamble should have. Our team was then given the opportunity to speak about this belief, with Lola representing our voice. We participated in interactive online activities to further assess our understandings of a preamble and to explore the different perspectives each school had in the region. Finally we were given the opportunity to draft a new preamble which we believed was more congruous to a twenty first century Australia. We were proud to share our beliefs in the recognition of Australia's First Nations people, as well as envisioning a united future for all of Australia's cultural groups in recognition of service and a commitment to maintaining and healing country.
The online learning environment offered a unique opportunity to discuss and debate ideas with students all over Queensland. I enjoyed being able to debate and discuss such politically relevant topics with people from other schools and listen to and take into account their opinions on the topic.
Year 10 Student