SRCs in focus: Bendigo South East College

#VicSRCvoices is a rolling series driven by the stories and experiences of student representatives. As we to celebrate 10 years of VicSRC, we’re celebrating you. It’s about who we are; what we value; what drives us to act; and what fuels our passions to advocate for what we believe in. First up for our SRC Series: Bendigo South East College*.

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*Winners of the Outstanding SRC of the Year Award at the 2014 VicSRC Recognition Awards

It has been a privilege to work with and for the Bendigo South East College SRC in 2014.  Our SRC is a diverse group of young people who share a common goal: to promote and foster well-being and happiness within our College environment. We are a passionate team, committed to student representation not only within our College, but within the wider local, national and global community.

Over the past year, our SRC representatives have been involved in many community events, such as the Bendigo Youth Summit, a Human Rights Forum and have been a part of the Whole Bendigo Schools SRC. We have also raised funds for the Kristy Thomson Appeal, Jeans for Genes Day, the Otis Foundation and a new vehicle for the SES. We have been a presence in the Bendigo ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day Services. Bendigo South East College also hosted a VicSRC Regional Congress.

"Our SRC is lucky enough to be able to work in an environment that supports our growth as leaders. We have an SRC office that is central to the school and allows us to be close to all the facilities we need to ensure our goals and ideas are met." 

Our SRC works in a team environment with students ranging from different backgrounds and year levels throughout the College. We try to maintain a diverse and fresh team each year and promote trust and comfort in change. We’ll tell you more about each of these areas.

We are lucky to have a culture in our school that promotes positive and caring attitudes for every student, and this ideal is shown during our team meetings. All members of the SRC work together, no matter what their differences and that is what makes our SRC outstanding.

We also have an extremely supportive and passionate principal, Ernie Fleming, who pushes us to succeed and is open-minded to the changes we make and the ideas we put forward. We couldn’t do any of the things we have done without his support to make it happen. We also have the support of teachers and employees throughout the college.

Many of the ideas we have, we run past teachers to get their input. We believe that an SRC isn’t just for the students; it’s for the whole College and it is easy to reach teachers where we are located in the SRC office. We are also able to reach our General Office and Student Services Office – which is helpful in reaching students and making announcements. Our SRC office is utilised every day through last-minute meetings, interviews, selling social tickets, preparing for barbeques and catch up study time for SRC members. Our SRC office helps us further our excellence and promote our SRC.

"Our SRC for 2014 has been a passionate and dedicated team, and we have seen members from even our lowest year levels come up with some of our greatest initiatives."

We had two of our representatives, both from Year 8, begin a partnership with Thankyou Water, and have convinced our College’s canteen to stock Thankyou Water on its shelves.These representatives also implemented the water that the Thankyou Company supply into NAPLAN and student-led conferences, providing much needed funds to the Thankyou Water initiative.  This was a fantastic action by two members whose dedication and drive inspired us all. Our representatives from all year levels were constant sources of motivation, and their constant flow of ideas and input was one of the basic reasons we succeeded as an SRC.

Another focus of our SRC was on accountability for our actions. As the student voice body of the school, we ensured that the voice that we projected was the voice of our representatives and the voice of the student body. Rather than having a facilitator that ran our SRC, we ensured that our fantastic facilitator, Linda Grinton, had a facilitative role rather than a leading and managing role. We, as the SRC, were encouraged and able to run our meetings, and were the sole provider of ideas and input. The representatives of our SRC managed our SRC and ran the events, initiatives and projects that we formed. Our facilitator did a great job of helping us grow as leaders and run our SRC in this sense, and without her help we would not have been able to achieve to the level that we did this year.

"In previous years, our SRC has been a well run and cohesive team, but has struggled to get to the essence of what an SRC needs to be: the team for student voice in the College. This year, we had a clear vision set out for what we wanted to be. Our vision was to create a team in which student voice was the main goal and focus area, and where students felt capable and comfortable to provide input into the College."

This year, our SRC has successfully implemented a student voice program that has reflected the wishes of the students who we represent and that works well and efficiently to address the needs of our school community. We are proud as an SRC to be able to say that we promote and use student voice within the college and that we are an SRC that lives up to its name.

We are so proud to have had won the VicSRC Most Outstanding SRC Award, and it was a privilege to have even been considered. Our entire team works together to create a safe and trustworthy environment that fosters positive change, growth and implementation of our ideas. We have worked so hard this year to create a foundation on which our successors can build. We believe that we have left a legacy of passion for the education system and our College, hard work in every area of our school life and going above and beyond for the betterment of our College.

With the team we have chosen for 2015, you can be sure to see the Bendigo South East SRC at the next VicSRC Awards Ceremony: we strive for excellence.

Brady Price and Eva Marchingo

Bendigo South East College Captains, 2014

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