If the kids can’t go to Parliament …

Year 6 students at Our Lady of the Rosary with Member for The Entrance, David Mehan

Parliament came alive for Year 6 students at Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic School at Wyoming when two local MPs visited the school to talk politics recently.

Principal, Bernard Cumming, invited the State Member for The Entrance, David Mehan, and Federal Member for Dobell, Emma McBride, to speak to senior students about how the country is run and who runs it.

In other years, students have taken an excursion to Canberra, but COVID-19 restrictions made that impossible in 2020.

Mehan said it was a great way for the kids to put a human face to something that may sometimes seem a bit remote.

“Meeting people face-to-face is always a better way to ensure people have a more rounded idea about what is involved for a politician and what they do day to day,” Mehan said.

“It has been refreshing for schools such as Our Lady of the Rosary to invite us to have a chat with the students.

“They did their homework really well, and they wanted to know if there was a training program for people who wanted to be politicians.

“The questions the students put together were very thought through and I was impressed.

“It is a nice way to break up the day for them and for me to get out of the office.”

Activities on the day included debating a No Homework Bill and taking on the different roles of Parliament such as Speaker, Prime Minister, Opposition Leader, Education Minister and Shadow Education Minister.

Mehan explained to the students about what the State Government is responsible for, compared with local and federal governments.

“It is important for our democracy and kids need to be exposed to the government in different ways because you can get a biased view if all you are doing is viewing it through the news,” he said.

“I always try to give them a bit of history as well and give them a bit of context.

“Australia is quite an old democracy compared to a lot of countries, so we need to appreciate that sometimes.”

Jacinta Counihan