St Patricks student looking forward to constitutional convention

Photo of author


Later this month, Ava Coltman from Saint Patricks College for Girls Campbelltown will be one of 95 Year 11 and 12 students from around Australia attending the 29th national schools constitutional convention.

The convention will be held at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, Canberra, March 19-21.

The topic for the 2024 convention is: Section 96 of the Constitution allows the Commonwealth to grant funds to areas that fall outside those prescribed in Section 51. Should Section 96 be amended to decentralise the power of the Commonwealth?.

This topic will provide Ava and her fellow students with the opportunity to examine Sections 51 and 96 of the Australian Constitution and discuss if the power of the Commonwealth should be decentralised.

A range of stimulus speakers will discuss the issues with students for them to debate with all delegates.

Outcomes from the convention will be incorporated into a communiqué that will be forwarded to the president of the Senate, Senator Sue Lines, for tabling in Parliament and recorded in Hansard.

As a national delegate Ava will travel with 29 other students from their state or territory.

“As someone who has always been highly interested in law and human rights, the Constitutional Convention has provided me with unparalleled opportunities to explore the various avenues and intricacies surrounding federal law,’’ says Ava.

“Being able to contribute to the discussion of constitutional issues with like-minded peers and learn more about the nation’s fundamental laws has inspired me to pursue a career within the field of law and the international advocacy for human rights.’’

But there’s more to this convention than debating changes to our constitution.

Students will attend a reception by the Prime Minister in parliament house, a meeting with Governor-General David Hurley at Government House, as well as an official dinner at the National Press Club.

The program is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education (DOE), coordinated by National Curriculum Services (NCS) and supported by the Australian Curriculum Studies Association (ACSA) and departments of education from all states and territories.

Leave a Comment