Meeting with the VicSRC Executive

The Victorian Student Representative Council (VicSRC) is a democratic network of Student Representative Councils who work to represent the views of secondary students in Victoria.

VicSRC recently held a planning camp for members of their executive – the elected student representatives who govern the organisation.  I was able to visit the camp on 10 April and speak with the students about their ideas for the Youth Engagement Resources project.

We began with an activity similar to one at the first steering committee meeting: I asked the group to imagine Victoria ten years from now, where youth participation and engagement is a normal part of society. Here is what this future looked like to them:

  • Students governing a lot of input in the education department
  • Young people in city councils
  • Young people on juries
  • More technology
  • No discrimination
  • Mutual respect between young and old
  • More student participation in school councils
  • Voting rights for 16+
  • Youth parliament
  • Students teaching students
  • Combined effort  to help the environment
Members of the VicSRC Executive in discussion

Members of the VicSRC Executive in discussion

After discussing their suggestions and their thoughts on the guiding principles for the project, I asked the group to evaluate the existing Taking Young People Seriously handbooks, with a focus on making them more attractive and engaging for young people. Here is what they had to say:

Issues with the current resources:

  • Look good for business people, but bad for youth
  • Boring, unattractive, Bad design, [need] more attractive colours

Suggestions for improvements:

  • Need more pictures
  • No worksheets!
  • Less content
  • Smaller index
  • Dot points, flow-charts and diagrams
  • Multi-media resources
  • Add videos / Youtube series
  • Make them interactive
  • Need to be Easy to use
  • Need to summarise, to be student-friendly
  • Use a cartoony / bubble format to make it interesting
  • Create a website and smartphone app
  • Think: a young person will ask “why should I read it?”
  • Kiss (keep it simple, stupid!)
Members of the VicSRC Executive share ideas for the new resources

Members of the VicSRC Executive share ideas for the new resources

Many thanks to Edison, Lachlan, Sammy, Rosie, Casey, Zoe, Braidan, Tao, Rais and Jake for taking part in the discussions, and thanks to Kate Walsh, VicSRC Coordinator, for arranging my visit.

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