On Friday 24 March, 130 of the 166 young people selected to be members of this year’s state-wide student representative council (SA SRC) gathered at the Adelaide Town Hall for the first time. They were attending the annual SA SRC Summit where new members meet face-to-face for the first time and spend the day determining which issues they would like to focus on over the coming year.

Student representatives travelled from Whyalla, Ceduna, Mount Gambier, Port Augusta, Port Broughton, Port Lincoln, Mount Barker and the Riverland communities joining their metropolitan counterparts who together represented 35 of the State’s 47 electorates. Sixteen Members of Parliament also made time to attend for a session that enabled young people to meet their local member.

The annual SA SRC Summit provides an invaluable opportunity for these young leaders to connect with other passionate and like-minded change-makers their own age. Jack Buckskin Welcomed the group to Kaurna Country and shared his personal journey of language and learning. A panel of 2022 student members described what their experience of being on the SA SRC was like and sixteen Members of Parliament spent time with young people from their local electorates to hear about the issues that matter most.

Workshops presented by FYA and NIYEC on examples of advocacy and campaigning were followed by the CCYP workshop to determine which issues the group would prioritise for 2023. There were also musical interludes throughout the day featuring a great set by DJ Kyyo T and the vocal stylings of Katie Pomery.

The top three issues identified for action by members of the 2023 SA SRC in attendance at the Summit are:

  1. The Environment
  2. Education Reform; and
  3. Mental Health

Other issues the group identified included improving transport, sexual education, university pathways, cultural support and diversity, and civics education.

Based on their personal priorities, students will now be guided through a process of creating campaigns for action, working to implement these throughout the year. They will attend regular online meetings to update on progress being made, and to discuss ways to tackle barriers they may encounter.

View the short video capturing highlights of the Summit below.

The SA SRC is an initiative of the Commissioner for Children and Young People, Helen Connolly, undertaken in partnership with the Foundation for Young Australians and with the support of the National Indigenous Youth Education Coalition. It aims to engage young South Australians with civics and change-making processes, empowering them to take leadership roles in their own communities so they can bring about changes they would like to see.