On Wednesday of Week 1, Nell and I flew to Adelaide to attend our third Rural Youth Ambassador program forum. It was another busy three days, which began with hours of planning on Wednesday afternoon in preparation for four discussion sessions on Thursday with key personnel from the Department for Education.
Our discussions were based around a vision that we as ambassadors had developed over the previous two forums. The “Local Provision Approach” is made up of the following four key areas:
- Learning Outcomes
- After School Opportunities
Each session ran for around one hour and was started by discussing the everyday challenges that rural and remote students face, along with the impact that these have on our future and aspirations. This was followed with an outline of how our “Local Provision Approach” would improve and resolve these challenges in relation to each key area.
Our discussions with the Department for Education were very much in-depth and lengthy, often lasting well past the time allocated. This was one of the many positives to come out of the day, as it provided both us ambassadors and the Department with an understanding of what each party’s ideas were and how we can use them to enact change.
On Friday, the ambassadors were invited by the Department to attend a presentation at the Education Development Centre at Hindmarsh. At this presentation, we were informed about the Marshall Liberal Government’s Country Education Strategy 2021 to 2028. This strategy very much focusses on finding solutions to a number of the issues we had identified. We then spent some time in groups, discussing and developing ideas to address a handful of questions.
We are looking forward with plenty of excitement to our fourth and final forum. At this event, we will meet with and make a final presentation to the Minister for Education, Mr John Gardner MP. As a Rural Youth Ambassador, I can proudly say that we are committed to helping deliver a better, brighter future for students in rural and remote South Australian communities.
~ Mitchell Paterson (Year 11)