The 2024 South Australian Student Representative Council (SA SRC) has had an exciting start to the year. Since the SA SRC Summit in March, attended by 105 students from 80 schools and 44 South Australian electorates, the students have continued progressing the existing Fitness for Free and Free Fares for Our Future campaigns, as well as launching three new campaigns: Our Future Our Vote, Greening Our Canteens, and Seeing Ourselves. 

To ensure they were accurately representing their school communities, the student reps polled over 4,500 of their peers to learn their thoughts on and experiences of a range of issues ranging from how their schools celebrate diversity to accessibility of public transport and how being active benefits mental health. 

The poll responses informed the SA SRC’s next steps launch/relaunch of five petitions, a submission to the Local Government Participation and Elections Review (State Govt), another submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters Inquiry into Civics Education, Engagement and Participation in Australia (Federal Govt), and the development of five campaign position briefs (soon to be released). 

Following the submission made to the Federal Inquiry, members of the Our Future Our Vote campaign were invited to speak as witnesses at the public hearing, allowing their voices to inform policy making at the highest level. 

Through the students’ efforts to create awareness of the campaigns and their associated petitions, they have already received over 2500 signatures. Each of the petitions are still open and seeking further support: 

Ten Greening Our Canteens students were invited to speak in Green Adelaide’s video for the inaugural Youth Voice Event held with Jane Goodall, allowing both Jane Goodall and Deputy Premier Susan Close to hear their thoughts and experiences on climate change. 

The students were also fortunate enough to have KESAB, Salty Sips, Free Fares NZ, and Make it 16 visit four of the 15 campaign meetings held so far, giving them the opportunity to learn from other people and organisations working to create change in similar spaces. The Foundation for Young Australians have run a workshop with SA SRC on media and communications, and the regional students have come together to meet with the Commissioner on issues specific to their communities. 

For the remainder of the year, student representatives will be meeting with decision-makers relevant to their campaign areas in the hopes of creating a South Australia that better reflects the world that young people want to live in.