The Wrap Up: 2017 VicSRC Recognition Awards!

The 11th of October 2017 was the night of nights celebrating students, teachers and schools working tirelessly to transform education in Victoria.

See photos from the night

Read Mia Sherman and Wren Gillett's powerful speech

Watch the winning videos

Read the VicSRC's response to Minister Merlino's students on school councils announcement

Student Voice Draws a Crowd

An incredible night of student voice, leadership, recognition and special announcements, the 11th of October 2017 drew together over 200 students, family members, sponsors, stakeholders and government representatives for the 7th annual VicSRC Recognition Awards.

Held at the Arena at NAB Docklands, the event celebrated best practice in student voice and student-led action from across Victoria.

Attendees were reminded that although the Recognition Awards is only one night a year, it is representative of the work teachers and students put in every day, 365 days a year, as champions of student voice all over Victoria. The 2017 VicSRC Recognition Awards was a moving celebration of the power of student voice has to transform our education system for the better.

Students on School Councils, an Unexpected Announcement

Deputy Premier and Minister for Education James Merlino MP, gave the opening address, recalling his positive experiences at local schools and his belief in the importance of student voice.

Much to the audience surprise Minister Merlino then spoke about what would be the anoouncement of a new students on school council initiatiive to be rolled out in 2018. Minister Merlino described how his close work with students, representative councils and the VicSRC has lead to the Victorian government's decision to grant students a permanent seat at the table.

He outlined that from 2018 onwards every government school council must include atleast one current student member. Students must also have full voting rights equal to other members. An annoouncement well received by all.

The issue of School Councils without student members was first raised in 2015 at the VicSRC's annual Congress event. Advocating for all secondary School Councils to have student members with full voting rights was voted on by 180 student delegates as the top priority for the VicSRC that year.

In 2016 the VicSRC commissioned Deakin University to research the effectiveness of student members on School Councils. A survey conducted by researchers at Deakin found that on average 80.6% of Victorian students and teachers supported the idea of student members on all School Councils, and that School Councils without student members are missing a crucial element.

The announcement was applauded by the audience, students, teachers and staff. 
The VicSRC looks forward to working with the Victorian Department of Education and Training in creating an inclusive and supportive model for student members on School Councils.

Read VicSRC's full response to the announcement here

The Roar of Student Voices

Following Minister Merlino's inspiring words, our student MCs, Aayushi Khillan and Alyssa Lai introduced our audience to our two keynote speakers, Mia Sherman and Wren Gillett. Mia and Wren inspired us with their message of acting now and not waiting for the right time to make a change. They reminded us that we do not need a wealth of experience and skills to shape education, and that young people shouldn't be bound by the resctrictions of their age.

View the speech here - it's a powerful read!

Following the speech our MC's than read out the commended, highly commended, runner-ups and winners for the night. Time and time again, the audience was blown away by the profound commitment to student voice. There was a strong sense in the room that we are all connected and part of something bigger; that together, we are powerful. 

We at the VicSRC are so proud of the student action, advocacy and leadership taking place in every corner of the state. Check out all the winning videos for ideas and inspiration!

Student voice is critical in education. Research tells us that when students are given a meaningful role in shaping their education, has a profound impact not just student grades and well being but also the whole school community. The VicSRC Recognition Awards gives us a chance to hear the stories of teachers and students from across the state. This night is about valuing the collective genius of teachers, parents and most importantly, students. The Recognition Awards showcase schools all over the state that are creating a cultural shift from Braybrook to Bendigo, Swan Hill to Yarram. Our vision is that all students, regardless of their location or background, are recognised as the experts of their education.

This event could not have happened without the generous support of our sponsors. A massive thanks goes to the Department of Education and Training, under the leadership of Minister for Education James Merlino MP, the Newsboys Foundation and Pearson Australia for their fantastic support of the VicSRC Recognition Awards.

Students are at the centre of everything we do. We’ve come so far, and we’re so driven by how far we can go together. Keep the stories and the action and the advocacy coming.

When we challenge expectations of what students can do, the possibilities are limitless!


The Finalists

Our judging panel was blown away by quality of the candidates and the genuine engagement with student voice. It took our dedicated judging panel hours of deliberation to select our outstanding finalists. 

A special congratulations go to:

Group Action Award

Winner: Emerald Secondary College

Runner up:  Mount Waverley Secondary College

Second runner up: Moomba Park Primary School


Pearson Australia Teacher of the Year Award 

Winner: Melanie Mitchell - Yarram Secondary College

Runner up: Liam Doyle - Portland Secondary College

Second runner up: Anna Gage - Brauer College Warnambool


Newsboys Foundation Youth Leadership Award

Winner: David Trevorrow - Braybrook College

Runner ups: Bryce Pace - Brauer College Warnambool and Tabitha Anderson - Epping Secondary College


Department of Education and Training SRC of the Year - Primary Schools Award

Winner: Rosanna Primary School

Runner up: Clifton Springs Primary School

Second runner up: Swan Hill Primary School


Department of Education and Training SRC of the Year - Secondary Schools Award

Winner: Sacred Heart College, Geelong

Runner up: Bendigo Senior Secondary College

Second runner ups: Forest Hill College

Watch the full event stream here:

Jump to:

8:30min - James Merlino announces the roll out of student members on School Councils

15:00min - Executive Officer Nina Laitala delivers commended and highly commended certificates

20:00min - Student Executives Mia Sherman and Wren Gillett deliver a dazzling key note speech

25:00min - Finalists announced and the Department of Education and Training Group Action Award delivered to Emerald Secondary College

34:00min - Finalists announced and Pearson Australia Teacher of the Year Award deliverd to Melanie Mitchell

42:00min - Finalists announced and Newsboys Foundation Youth Leadership Award delivered to David Trevorrow

48:00min - Finalists announced and Primary SRC of the Year Award delivered to Rosanna Primary School

57:00min - Finalists announced and Secondary SRC of the Year Award delivered to Sacred Heart College, Geelong

Thank you to all who attended, winners, finalists, commended, parents and supporters.



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