We’re delighted to introduce Emily, one of the new VicSRC Executive Committee members. Over the next few weeks they’ll be introducing themselves and sharing their passion for student advocacy.
Why did you run to join the VicSRC Executive Committee?
Personally, I saw becoming an executive member for the Victorian student representative council as a real opportunity to have a voice for other students who feared to speak themselves. I knew I had a voice that I could make people listen, having a lot of experience through my school. It has become pretty clear that I have a favourite phrase about why I love VicSRC; it is student-led and student run, and it honestly just sums up my love for this organisation. I couldn’t emphasise that fact more – it is vital for students to have a position in the education sector, because at the end of the day students are the ones policies affect. Students can give any member of the department far more information about the education system than any parent, principle or faculty ever could.
Its time that people actually started listening to the power behind our voices. No one I’ve come across has done this better than VicSRC. I became a part of this organisation because it’s a fantastic opportunity to utilise the resources and communication networks they have built for students. I want to work collectively with other like minded students and to push for a student position in any possible scenario that needs a student presence as well as to advocate for the issues that students prioritise as being most urgent.
What has your previous experience of Student Voice been like?
My experience with student voice and advocacy has been a very rocky one in all honesty. From the start of primary school when captain positions came into play it was evident that selections were based on the most athletic or the students selected solely because of how much their parents contributed financially. At the beginning of secondary schooling I was faced with similar circumstances. But in a way, I’m grateful I had to face these experiences because it gave me an opportunity to prove myself and my desire for a seat in student leadership. I fell in love with everything to do with student advocacy. The overwhelming feeling of creating such an impact in school and community where students look to you for advice or to give them the voice they want, which in turn affects the adults needing student involvement to actually fulfill their job requirements.
To have a position to actually effect change and knowing that its for the benefit of students is what I love most about my position as a student leader. I feel that although parents, teachers and principals say that have students best interests at heart, they don’t know what that best interest actually is because they’re looking at the situation and circumstances from a personal and single sided perspective. Its not until the conversation spreads to include students do the needs and priorities actually become evident.
What issues do you care about?
It’s difficult for me to pin point the issues I care most about, especially now I have this position in VicSRC. To me, the issues I care most about are no longer my focus because that position has to changed to concern for achieving the priority needs of students across all of Victoria, aka the priority goals decided at Congress 2019. Personally, I have a few things I am particularly passionate about, besides the obvious student voice and advocacy, is creating a school environment that is accepting of all diversities, ethnicities, cultures, genders, sexual orientation and anything else that needs to become a more socially accepted especially from the adolescents age and in a school environment.