Congress 2016: the wrap up

Three days, 180 delegates, 15 Executive members, 33 volunteers and staff, 10 RAPs, 300 people at Open Morning - Congress 2016 was an powerful explosion of student voice.

VicSRC Congress 2016


For three days at Ormond College in Melbourne, Congress 2016 was a mid-winter melting pot of ideas, experiences, creativity and student-led solutions to the educational issues we all share. 

No matter where you went at Congress 2016, the energy was literally bouncing off the walls. From unpicking the issues within their Issues Groups, to exploring their skills with creative and challenging workshops, our delegates pushed themselves and each other across three incredible and action-packed days.

It was our second year at Ormond College, but there were a number of firsts at the 11th annual VicSRC Congress!

It was the first time we've had 180 students in the one room at Congress working together on the issues that matter most to our education. It was the first time we'd have over 60 schools represented from all corners of the state. The first time to welcome Education Changemakers for an on-fire opening session; the first time we'd seen incredibly talented acrobats from Westside Circus and Anndala the Hooper grace the halls of Ormond College with their serious skills for Masquerade-themed Gala Dinner. It was the first time we have received a personal message of support from the Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews MP, and the first time we've streamed Congres on Facebook Live.

...And it was the very first time we have opened up Congress, with the inaugural Open Morning! It was the culmination of all their work at Congress 2016 and our chance to share it with the world. 

This epic morning at the Grand Buffet Hall at the University of Melbourne saw over 300 students, teachers and education sector stakeholders participate in the Lightning Lobby, where delegates lobbied guests on their issues and why they matter; and share in the official Congress Session, where delegates presented student-devised Resolution Action Pitch proposals (or RAPs) - our big solutions for the very real issues facing our education system.

The passion, the experiences, the drive, the determination and the dignity of each delegate was profound and powerful. Our voices rang out loud and clear. All delegates and visiting students voted on the proposals using a new electronic voting system, with the top five proposals will form the VicSRC advocacy agenda for 2016-2017. The full ten proposals will be distributed to all secondary schools in Victoria as a student-led resource - so watch this space, because there are very exciting things to come.

Congress is about students transforming education. This is our time to ask big questions: to change the way we think about, and do, education. We don’t just deserve a say in the way our schools are governed and run; we need a say. Delegates took up the challenge to work together; create compelling solutions to the issues we share; and go beyond talk, into real action. 

When student voices are listened to and encouraged, the change is remarkable. We are so thrilled to have shared Congress 2016 with you, and cannot wait for all the action to come.

We would like to extend an enormous and heartfelt thank you to all the people and organisations that made Congress 2016 possible:

VicSRC 2015-2016 Executive team
Demi Irwin, Marine Chu, Danai Harawa, Spencer Davis, Sam Illobuchi, Kristen Sellings, Margaret Tran, Matty Sievers, Dave Serpell, Liz Chiem, Thomas Velican, Simana Watson-Latu, Shania Hallyburton, William Hornsta and Victoria Vassallo.

VicSRC staff
Krista Seddon, Fiona Campbell, Nina Laitala, Sophie Moore, Pinchy Breheny and Nadia Jude.

Congress Crew and supporters
Roger Holdsworth, Dave Mould, Scott Duncan, Danielle Clarke, Sophie Williams, Dave Rose, Bridin Walker, Shivani Thiyagarajah, Owen Smith, Tyler Kenopic, Claire Moore, Justine Jaramillo, Freya Fogliani, Jenesse Cruz, Jessica Cruz, Craig Martin, Mandy Duong, Michelle Tan, Tim Eric, Doug Flakemore, Ron Garcia, Piper Huynh, Chester Ngan, Desney Millen, Claire Moore and Peggy Soo.

Facilitators and Performers
Mel Jeffrey, Eve Mayes, Summer Howarth, Aandala the Hooper, Westside Circus.

Department of Premier and Cabinet
The Hon. Daniel Andrews MP, Premier of Victoria

Department of Education and Training
The Hon. James Merlino MP, Minister for Education


Congress 2016 proudly sponsored and supported by:

Congress sponsors and supporters

3CR, 3RRR, Amnesty International, Australian Education Union, Avant Cards, Beyond Blue, Connect Magazine, Dumbo Feather, Education Changemakers, Oaktree Foundation, Oxfam Australia, PBS,, Red Frog, Sea Shepherd, Second Strike, Smiling Mind, The Line, UN Youth Australia, Victorian Electoral Commission, YWCA.

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