Hastings Public School

Learning, Growing, Caring

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Student Leadership

School parliament

Hastings Public School saw a need to invigorate the school procedure of electing leaders and in the process allow the students to discover the Australian democratic system and its application to our community and the nation.

The aims of the teachers in implementing the school parliament were to:

  • provide a more constructive and relevant role for the school leaders
  • provide more students with the opportunity to play a leadership role in our school.
  • ensure the concept of participative, democratic decision-making was appreciated and  incorporated into the school's ethos.
  • use the Australian parliamentary framework as the model for our school parliament.


Upon election, each student prepares their statement of intent which is included underneath their photograph on display in the school foyer. Each successful candidate also receives a name badge with his or her name and cabinet portfolio.

Ministers are assigned a teacher whose role is to mentor and meet with. The ministers discuss any plans they have with their teacher who signs off their consultation sheet.

Cabinet meetings are held on a fortnightly basis where cabinet members raise issues of their own or those which have been brought to their attention by other students in the form of a class motion. These matters are discussed and those thought important enough are set down for discussion at Parliament where all students in Years 3 - 6 attend.

Staff handicraft skills have also been put to good use with the construction and decoration of the question box which is on display at all parliamentary sessions.

Meeting procedure is explained to all participants and the Speakers control the entire process.

To provide the program with legitimacy and direction, the school approached the local state parliamentary representative, Lesley Williams for assistance with ideas and procedural matters which he provided willingly and continues to do so, taking an active interest in the parliament in spite of his busy schedule as a federal parliamentarian.

The Hastings Public School Parliament provides students with a clear understanding of Australia's system of government on a regular and on-going basis. Students have reaped the benefits of a participative and democratic system where their proposals have gone from a simple idea to see it examined, debated and voted on in a public forum. Many of their proposals have become part of school routine and have improved the life of the school. This aspect, above all of the outstanding features of the program, has demonstrated to the students the power of the individual in instigating and influencing change. Coupled with this has also been the proviso of enlisting the support of the majority to ensure the success of any proposals. The trip to Canberra has been added to provide our Year 6 students with a comprehensive understanding of the democratic process.