Excitement, collaboration and learning: the first 2022 Ambassadors meeting

What we found was that a lot of the issues that we faced at our respective schools, were not limited to our little world, but were actually systemic across the education system.

Cut out photos of three VicSRC Ambassadors on a blue background under a quote from the piece.

It’s been a busy start to the year and once of the things VicSRC is most excited to have happening is our 2022 Ambassadors program. We had our first meeting this month and wanted to bring you the stories of some of the almost fifty (!!) students who came together to talk about their experience of education and raise their student voice.

Hi, my name is Muqtadir. I joined the VicSRC ambassador program in order to be able to contribute my ideas for education. I chose to be part of the Action Team working on inclusion, because I felt that people that had dietary requirements or were religious were not catered for, so I wanted to make a positive change. Here is my experience with the first meeting.

I walked down the busy street towards the VicSRC office, I was nervous yet excited at the same time. As I walked closer to the office, I saw other ambassadors, it made me feel even more nervous, but my excitement stayed. After waiting for a little, the ambassadors were let into the office and were guided towards a table on which were name labels which we wore to make it easier to identify and respectfully remember each other’s name and pronouns. We started by playing get to know each other games in which a person had to tell a fun fact if they won, this was a great game as I got to meet and learn things about new people!

We then sat back down and talked about respect and about VicSRC. We then took a tour around the office; the office was filled with strange but funny paintings. After the tour, we got into groups to brainstorm ideas about issues related to education such as leadership in schools and course counselling. Then after a short snack break, we got into our action teams, my group focused on inclusion, we talked about issues like racism, and discrimination on the basis of LGBTQI+ identities and religion. Finally, in the end, one person from each team spoke up about their issues and informed everyone else what they were working on and what they discussed. Overall, the meeting was great, I learned a lot of things like contributing my ideas, talking and cooperating with others and how to show more confidence. I look forward to more meetings like this in the future.

My name is Jessica Lee and I am currently a Year 9 student. It has been an absolute privilege being an SRC Leader at my school for the past two years because I highly value student voice and I love being involved with helping the school community as a whole. When I heard about the VicSRC Ambassadors program this year at one of our meetings, I jumped at the opportunity to meet other student reps across Victoria, collaborate ideas as a team on wider issues and make student voice even stronger.

On Sunday 12 March we had our first in-person VicSRC Ambassadors meeting. It was so exciting having this unique opportunity to meet with students from across Victoria to share and listen to each other’s school experiences with student voice. The VicSRC team made us feel so welcome. Through the meet and greet we were able to exchange ideas and learn how VicSRC acts as an independent organisation for student voice. I think each of us had come packed with ideas of our own and were keen to learn from each other. What we found was that a lot of the issues that we faced at our respective schools, were not limited to our little world, but were actually systemic across the education system. Personally, I felt like I could talk for hours about all our experiences. Having an outlet where we can bounce solutions off each other and work towards a collaborative plan to solve concerns felt so empowering.

I came out of the meeting on such a high and felt super charged that, with the support of VicSRC, we could actually give a voice to students and make a real difference to drive change.

Hi I'm Sema. I'm a Year 9 student and I've been working with VicSRC for the past year now.

I came across the Ambassadors program through a family member and was keen to get involved almost immediately. Not only is it an eye opening experience, it has allowed me to gain new skills and learn more about how our education system works as well as the stakeholders. Us.

That was 2021, and even now that I am familiar with the way things work, the first Ambassadors meeting of this year showed me that we as students and leaders in the education world continue to evolve and grow. Not only did the experience of meeting my fellow ambassadors fill me with a sense of excitement for the work coming this year, but it created an environment where I felt comfortable sharing my thoughts and opinions. I’m excited for what 2022 will bring, and the work ambassadors and everyone else at VicSRC will accomplish!