#VicSRCvoices: Election season

This time of year can see a flurry of election activity, with SRCs locking in their leadership roles. Every school is different - and some don't even hold elections to determine their office bearers. Sarah Goh gives the inside scoop on the end-of-year election process at Balwyn High School.

Balwyn High School

The leadership process

The leadership process in Balwyn High School begins with the Head of Student Voice and Leadership attending year level assemblies and discussing the various roles on offer for students specific to year levels. These involve SRC members where there are two executive positions for year 9s and all year 12 SRC members are considered executives. The same day as this talk is had in assemblies, the application process begins as the application forms are emailed out. These forms include the student leadership compact which outlines the responsibilities of student leaders in general as well as particular aspects of each role.

Leadership Q&A panel

Due to the initiative of our Year 11 Captains, they organised a leadership Q&A panel before the application process began where current year 12s in leadership panels were asked questions by current year 11 students who were interested in obtaining a leadership position in year 12. This helped inform future student leadership candidates of what possible positions they wanted to apply for as well as giving tips about applying for each role.

Written applications

The first stage of the application process is written applications which are due in hardcopy for each position at a certain day approximately one week after applications first open. It's possible to apply for multiple positions and these applications are read and either accepted or rejected by the leadership panel which is comprised of the principal, head of student leadership and voice and the respective head of either middle or senior school.

Speech time

Successful applicants are then notified through email and they have the opportunity to make a minute-long speech at a year level assembly in front of the leadership panel and their peers. The entire year level then votes for 6 people each for the possible 8 positions per year level on the SRC.

"Yet there is much speculation in the year level at this stage as they are unsure with how much their vote actually matters and whether teacher votes are weighted much more heavily."

The Final Stage

The final stage of the application process is an individual interview that lasts approximately 15 minutes with the leadership panel. This includes questions such as "What would you do in this position to improve student connectivity?" and "How can you contribute to the school in this role?". It takes place in the principal's office which sets the tone of the interview as a formal occasion and can add to the nerves.

The chosen SRC Executives (2 for Year 9 and 6 for Year 12) are notified the night before Presentation Night of their success in obtaining the position. They are then announced at Presentation Night which is a celebration of the students of the school's achievements in various areas such as music, academics, sport and school involvement.

#VicSRCvoices is a rolling series driven by the stories and experiences of student representatives. 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.

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