Speaker takes Parliament to Ipswich

Speaker takes Parliament to Ipswich Main Image

23 February 2024

School Civics Program in Ipswich for local student leaders at the Ipswich City Council Chambers.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Honourable Milton Dick MP, in partnership with Mayor Teresa Harding, will host a School Civics Program in Ipswich for local student leaders at the Ipswich City Council Chambers.The program will bring together more than 100 primary and secondary student leaders from 26 schools across wider Ipswich to discuss ideas, explore common concerns and build networks between schools.

Tailored to their grade level, the students will learn about the levels of government, the role of government and their rights and obligations as local citizens.

The Year 12 session will include a workshop to discuss local and federal issues, with students presenting ideas and solutions to the issues. The School Civics Program is a first of its kind after Mayor Harding secured in-kind support and facilities to roll out the program locally earlier this year, in partnership with Speaker Milton Dick.

This program was a local version of the Federal Parliament in Schools program, launched in September 2022 by Speaker Milton Dick.

Last year, the Parliament and Civics Education Rebate (PACER) program, which provides financial assistance for students in Years 4 to 12 to visit Canberra, allowed over 8,000 students in Queensland to experience Parliament first-hand. The 2023 Pilot was successful and has since been extended to make school excursions to Canberra and Parliament House accessible to more schools and more students.

Quotes attributable to the Hon Milton Dick MP, Speaker of the House of Representatives:

“It is incredibly important to me that the voices of our youngest citizens are heard and reflected in Canberra.”

“I was so pleased to see the Parliament and Civics Education Pilot extended for another year, which makes it easier for students in regional and remote area to visit Canberra.”

“It is my priority as Speaker to increase the accessibility of civics education. Every student in Australia should have the opportunity to learn about democracy and the parliament, which is why we are bringing Parliament to Ipswich.”

Quotes attributable to Mayor Teresa Harding:

“When Milton came to me with this bi-partisan initiative to stand together to bring Australia’s Parliament House and Ipswich’s Council Chamber to students here in Ipswich, I jumped on board, as we are both very passionate about democracy and making sure our young people are given opportunities.”

“Canberra is 1,200km away, so the cost and time involved in travelling that far, can be very prohibitive for Ipswich students.”

About the Parliament in Schools program

Launched in 2022, the Parliament in Schools program is a bi-partisan initiative to make civics education accessible to students regardless of their location. In collaboration with local federal members, the Speaker is visiting schools across Australia to bring parliament to them.

The program is an extension to well-established PEO onsite, digital and outreach education programs available to schools across Australia. It also complements the existing PEO online and print resources that are
curriculum-aligned, for Australian teachers and students.