#VicSRCvoices: New year, new SRC

How do we start the year off strong, and stay strong? VicSRC Exec, Feyla Anja, share her tips for starting 2017 with a bang - and keeping the momentum going.

The first few weeks of the school year are very symbolic – it signals the beginning of what is hoped to be a year full of positive change within your school community. But how do you make sure 2017 will be your SRC’s best year?

Here are some tasks SRCs should place at the top of their to-do list this February:

Get to know each other

Can you confidently say the name of every person in your SRC? Do you know which year level they represent? Since you’ll be working with these students for most of the year, it’s always a good idea to dedicate time to bond with each other. This is particularly important for larger SRCs. When all SRC members know each other, they will be comfortable enough to collaborate on projects effectively as well as fearlessly speak up in meetings on the issues that really matter to those they are representing.

Set SMART goals

What would your SRC like to achieve this year? Encourage your SRC to think big and be bold with their ideas. Then, break up the bigger goals into smaller, more achievable SMART goals. Having these can help you stay on track as you progress throughout the year. It ensures that whatever work SRC members undertake points towards a common aim. Goals can also be a motivational tool, which is especially important in encouraging SRC members to keep persevering as the year rolls by.

SMART goals

Delegate routine tasks to SRC members

Who will take minutes for SRC meetings? Who will chair them? Such tasks are the bread-and-butter of effective and productive SRC meetings, so it’s super important to clearly establish specific roles early on. Whether you decide to have one specific person carry it out or rotate it between SRC members according to rosters, it is recommended that the method be agreed upon in the first or second meeting then have the selection process/rosters be finalised as early as possible.

Spread the word about your SRC

Does the wider school community know about your SRC? How will students be able to contact your SRC if they want to raise issues or make a comment? As a representative council, it’s extremely vital for your SRC to be widely known among those you represent. Communication is a two-way lane; on one side, simple noticeboards and regular newsletters have faithfully served many SRCs for years in distributing news to the school community. On the other side, SRCs can connect with the student body through conducting focus groups and/or vox pops (informal interviews) with students on a regular basis. All these methods are powerful in ensuring that the voices of students are heard.

Establish/ build upon an existing support network

The work SRCs do, while rewarding and essential to any school community, can be (and often is) very tiring. Barriers come up every now and then that are so imposing it can be frightening to even try tackling. Projects might hit dead ends again and again. In these situations, having a support network consisting of those outside your SRC can come in handy. They can include teachers and staff members supportive of student voice as well as members of SRCs from other schools. It’s important to remember that there are people willing to help out in trying times, and that your SRC is never alone.

SRCs, let 2017 be your year to shine.

Feyla Anja | VicSRC Student Executive
Year 12, Mount Waverley Secondary College

#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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