In 2003, students created the statement and aims that are still in use today and named the organisation the Victorian Student Representative Council (VicSRC).
IMAGE: 2007 Exec with former Minster Bronwyn Pike
After several attempts by Victorian students from the 1980s at least to establish a state organisation, 300 students met at the Paving the Way Conference in Ballarat in July 2001 and decided to establish the Victorian Secondary Students Network (VSSN) where the first student State Committee was elected. The VSSN operated briefly with the support of the Office for Youth. The students struggled to continue the organisation when that support was withdrawn about a year later, but managed to regroup in 2003 when the students created the statement of aims that is still substantially in use today and renamed the organisation the VicSRC.
The Youth Affairs Council of Victoria offered office space for meetings and continuing support for the group that has lasted to the present.
In 2005, the VicSRC hosted its first Congress at the Moorabbin Town Hall, a single day event involving over 100 students from across Victoria. The next Congress was held in 2007 at the Collingwood Town Hall; this time the VicSRC had secured funding from the Donkey Wheel Foundation and the Reichstein Foundation to employ a staff member for a year. With this kind of central support and a budget the Congress was able to elect a new student executive at last. The first Coordinator employed was James Tonson, who had been involved in attempts to set up the VicSRC when he was a student in the late 1990s.
The VicSRC Congress continued to be held annually, but moved to the Oasis campsite in Mt Evelyn and became an overnight conference as well. Since 2007, each year the Congress has successfully elected a student Executive to govern the VicSRC. Reports for each Congress document the decisions of each Congress since 2005, and these form the instructions for the Executive.
The student Executive has created a number of resources for SRCs over the years, including a Principals' guide, an environment kit, and a major VicSRC publication for SRC students and Teachers: Represent!
Regional student conferences were initiated in 2008. In that same year, the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) (later, the Victorian Department of Education and Training [DET]) entered into a funding agreement with the VicSRC that kept the support going but retained the independence of the students.
In 2009 a new Coordinator (Kate Walsh) was employed, and she continued in that role for four years, until Krista Seddon took over the position in 2013. In 2017, this position was renamed as the VicSRC Executive Officer and Nina Laitala was appointed. These years also marked expansions in the roles and staffing of the VicSRC, with appointments of a Communications Officer, a Teach the Teacher Project Officer, an Events Officer, a Student and Admin Assistant, and VicSRC Facilitators.
VicSRC has grown again in the 2017-2019 period, expanding to ten staff, moving elections from Congress into their own event, renaming the Recognition Awards to the Student Voice Awards, moving into independent office space and more!
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