To advocate is to speak or act in support of or in defence of somebody, a community, or a cause.

Students on school council

All government schools in Victoria have a school council which is responsible for setting key policies and strategies for the school. School councils are made up of elected members from school staff, the school community, the local community and, since 2018, students.

At VicSRC Congress 2015, Victorian students voted school leadership and governance the top priority for VicSRC to action. See the timeline below for the journey from this to the Ministerial Order that mandated students on school council at government secondary schools and on to today.

[This priority is] a call for students to be treated as respected partners in the journey of education.
VicSRC Executive Committee member in 2015 Congress report

Campaign timeline

What does this mean for students?

If you go to a Victorian government secondary school, there should be two students who you have elected to your school council. These students should:

  • Be full voting members of the school council

  • Be elected by the students at your school specifically to school council (not for school captain or other leadership positions)

  • Be supported by the other school council members to participate and be heard in school council meetings

  • Be known to other students and represent the interests and needs of the student body

The opportunity to nominate and vote for school council student members should be open to all students from year 7 to 12. School council elections happen every year in February and March.

If you’re not sure if this is happening at your school, or who your students on school council are, ask your school leadership to find out.